Google said to still be working on standalone VR/AR headset

News of Google's canceled virtual reality ambitions might have been a wee bit premature. While it is probably true that Google cancelled a project that would have yielded a standalone VR headset unlike its current Cardboard, that doesn't exactly close the doors on other similar efforts. In fact, according to anonymous sources, Google does have yet another project in the works and this one might be even more ambitious, blending VR and AR in a single headset that doesn't require to be tethered to a more powerful computer.

Google's VR journey started with a very humble Cardboard, which, at the very beginning, was literally a cardboard headset where you can slot your smartphone into and enjoy the sometimes nauseating beauty of virtual reality. In contrast, the aborted project would have created a more standalone gear that didn't require a smartphone, pitting Google against the likes of HTC/Steam and Oculus.

This other rumored project, on the other hand, could go head to head with Microsoft instead. For one, the headset is said to be completely indepenent and wouldn't require a smartphone or even a computer to power it. But more interesting is that it isn't a VR device per se. It will still have a full display apparently, like a VR headset. However, it will also do augmented reality, like the Microsoft HoloLens.

How Google plans to do this is still a well kept secret. One possibility is that, like what was reported months ago, the headset would have outward facing cameras and sensors to capture the outside world while the viewer wears the device. Whether that actually yields a more immersive or a more dangerous experience remains to be tested.

That said, Google is a company known for making many expensive projects and moonshots, not all of which see the light of day. And even those that are close to launch sometimes never make it, or at least not yet (Google Glass, Project Ara). It will definitely be interesting to see whether Google decides to jump fully into a more serious VR/AR market because, as the source says, the newly announced Android-based Daydream isn't the company's VR endgame just yet.

VIA: Engadget