Google’s virtual reality headset might be entirely self-reliant

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On Sunday, The Financial Times reported that Google is working on its own virtual reality headset, and on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal expanded on this claim in its own report, which claimed that the headset will be powered entirely by it’s own internal hardware. What this means is that, unlike with the Gear VR or Oculus Rift, users won’t need to hook the headset up to a smartphone or computer in order to use it. According to the Journal’s report, the headset is supposed to offer a “middle ground” experience that’s not as premium as what the Oculus Rift offers, but is still better than what the Gear VR or Google Cardboard offer.

On Sunday, it was reported that Google is working on a new VR headset that’s far more advanced than Cardboard and closer to Samsung’s Gear VR. But Google’s upcoming virtual reality plans are in fact even bigger than that, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company is said to be working on a stand-alone VR product — one that wouldn’t need to be tethered to a smartphone or PC to function. The unannounced device “will include a screen, high-powered processors and outward-facing cameras” according to the Journal’s sources. It is being designed to provide a “middle ground” experience; so while it may not be as powerful or capable as the Oculus or HTC Vive, it’ll offer the convenience of untethered operation. This would be in addition to Google’s rumored Gear VR competitor, which will be introduced alongside a new version of Android that makes VR a core part of the operating system. The Financial Times described it as Nexus-style VR headset which will be a reference point for other manufacturers as they move to embrace Android’s deeper focus on virtual reality. Both publications have suggested this product will debut at I/O 2016 later this year.

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