With virtual reality set to make big bucks this year, competitors like the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are preparing for a big launch onto the market. However, Google has already seen modest success, having introduced an effective, affordable alternative with its Cardboard model. That isn’t stopping the company from trying something new, though.
FT.com reports that Google currently has a new virtual reality headset in the works, set to operate with a number of Android-compliant smartphones. According to the report, the evolution to the Cardboard model will feature better sensors and lenses, along with a better casing for more convenient wear. It’s said to have a lot in common with the Gear VR, and considering its accessibility to the VR market, it should be fairly easy to adapt to.
Google is also rumored to be preparing new Android VR technology that works specifically with it, and device the design will still allow users to conveniently slide their mobile phone device into it for use, rather than having to make adjustments for a pre-set display.
Not much is known about the new software at the moment, but Google appears to be building it from the ground up to work specifically with the Android smartphone operating system itself, instead of the traditional app that Cardboard currently uses.
Cardboard’s successor has been hinted at for a while now, with Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai stating that it was “just the first step” in its virtual reality business last week. “Beyond these early efforts, you’ll see a lot more from us and our partners in 2016.”
Now it’s just a matter of seeing whether this new headset will be as embraced as Cardboard has become. There’s no doubt the cost will be a little bit higher, especially with the utilization of new technology, but the experience could be worth it to some, especially those who can’t spend hundreds of dollars on a virtual reality experience.
We’ll see what the virtual future holds for Google in just a few months’ time.