Google said to be building new VR headset, no cardboard in sight

google-office
Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock
With one major virtual reality success already behind it in the form of Cardboard, it appears Google is developing another VR headset made of sturdier stuff.

While Cardboard has proved a worthy and very affordable entry-level solution for those curious about stepping into another world via their smartphone, Google’s next VR effort will have a “solid plastic casing” and be “similar to Samsung’s Gear VR,” sources familiar with the matter told the Financial Times.

As you’d expect, Google’s reported VR unit, which could launch this September, will feature better quality lenses than Cardboard’s, and also incorporate sensors – just like the Gear VR – indicating it won’t be relying solely on the kit inside the smartphone to function.

In a bid to ensure the device’s success, Google is said to be working on making its headset compatible with a much wider selection of smartphones than the Gear VR, which currently only works with a  small number of Samsung Galaxy devices.

The FT’s report, which appeared Sunday, also suggests Google could bake dedicated VR software into future versions of Android as part of an effort to make it easier for developers to write VR apps. Reports claiming Google is working to integrate VR into its mobile operating system first surfaced last year. It’s also hoped the software could work to reduce motion sickness which can affect users after prolonged use.

This weekend’s news comes less than two months after Google job postings were spotted that hinted at plans for a new VR headset. Further clear evidence that the company is looking to significantly expand its VR efforts came when Jason Toff, former general manager of Vine, recently returned to the Web giant “to work on virtual reality,” while Clay Bavor, Google’s VP for product management, recently switched positions to work solely on VR products.

With a more advanced headset, Google would be joining a growing list of tech firms building similar devices for a platform that is yet to fully establish itself in the minds of consumers as well as content creators. It’s feasible that a more sophisticated offering from Google could help give VR a nudge toward fulfilling its much-hyped promise.

If the FT’s report proves right, there’s a fair chance Google will use its I/O developer conference in May to spill the beans. And any such announcement could conceivably coincide with the unveiling of its rumored Android VR operating system, too.

Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Mobile

10 common problems with the Samsung Galaxy S8, and how to fix them

Despite being one of Samsung's flagship phones, some users are facing problems with the Galaxy S8. Thankfully, there are fixes and potential workarounds for those struggling. Our troubleshooting tips are easy to follow.
Mobile

The Moto G4 Plus is finally getting the update to Android Oreo

We've reached out to every major Android hardware manufacturer and asked them when they will update their devices to the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo.
Mobile

Samsung teases it will reveal its foldable phone during the Galaxy S10 event

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Gaming

The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

While there weren't a ton of new VR headset on display at CES 2019, the ones we saw led us to believe that VR could have a real moment soon, both from a gaming and business standpoint.
Gaming

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.
Gaming

These shoes let me stroll through ‘Skyrim,’ and I desperately want to go back

After being funded in just two hours on Kickstarter back in October 2018, Cybershoes has earned itself a place among the coolest VR walking and running tech. At CES 2019, we got to try them out and they live up to the hype.
Gaming

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Computing

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.