Google Unveils New Standalone Virtual Reality Headsets At I/O 2017

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You didn't really think Google would wrap up its 2017 I/O developer conference without at least a quick mention of new virtual reality "technologies", now, did you?

A mockup of the VIVE standalone headset with Daydream.

HTC has had a massive week with the launch of their new U11 flagship phone, but they're not stopping there. As with headsets such as the HTC Vive, being tethered to a desktop computer is inconvenient, but the dedicated hardware of a full-size computer makes higher-end gaming possible in VR. "WorldSense" tracking will provide positional tracking to match your location, and dedicated sensors will keep track of the environment around you. DayDream now faces extremely limited support, with most people only capable of experiencing it on their Pixel devices.

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"We are thrilled to once again work with Google and offer a powerful premium Snapdragon experience for devices on the Daydream platform", said Keith Kressin, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

While this isn't a HTC Vive 2 announcement, it's a glimpse of what we could expect to see with rumors of a wireless PC-powered headset doing the rounds.

Google announced new details about Android O (it's gotta be nicknamed Android Oreo, right?) and it's not going to be a big feature-packed update.

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The latter is especially remarkable because Samsung's existing relationship with Oculus on Samsung's Gear VR headset. The devices will also use what Bavor called "precise tracking". Soon enough you'll be able to use the anticipated ASUS ZenPhone AR phone and, of course, the Galaxy S8 handsets.

Google also showcased its Expeditions AR program as part of its educational outreach efforts.

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