Standalone Android VR headset rumored for Google I/O launch next week

An old Virtuality headset from the mid-'90s

An old Virtuality headset from the mid-'90s


Google Cardboard has already brought the experience of virtual reality to more users than probably any other project in history, and its success has only encouraged other manufacturers to bring even more advanced VR hardware to market. But even as we see Google continue to support smartphone-based Cardboard viewers, could the company be working on a higher-end headset of its own? Rumors from earlier this year already raised the idea of Google developing a self-contained, standalone VR headset (one that doesn't need you to drop in your phone at all), and now we're hearing that the company could be getting ready to launch this so-called “Android VR” as soon as next week's Google I/O conference.

While the complete hardware picture isn't yet clear, we're still talking about a standalone headset that would include its own display and processor. Even without a full understanding of its capabilities, the rumor suggests Android VR will be somewhat more advanced than existing Cardboard or even Gear VR headsets, though stop short of the level of tech offered by PC-tethered VR headsets like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

This new report is very much in line with earlier rumors, and especially in light of expectations that Android N will embrace VR at the system level (or at least begin to get the pieces in place for such support), there could be a solid chance these rumors play out much as we're hearing them now.

What's a little less certain, though, are some other components to this Android VR story: rumors like Google announcing the headset launching alongside a new hand-held VR controller. But with Google I/O just one week away, we should be getting our answers very soon.

source: Peter Rojas (Twitter), Android Police

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7 Comments

1. vincelongman

Posts: 5645; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

If this is under $300 and has Vive-style controllers, one day buy Oculus, Vive, PS VR and GearVR (requires Samsung flagship) are too expensive for a student like me

3. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Same here. But I do not think they can make it very powerful at $300. Atleast $450-500 for flagship level VR as it would likely be priced on par with Nexus series.

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Build dedicated sensor for a lag free experience on the headset. Depends on smartphone for the CPU/GPU processing. Smartphone get more and more powerful each year. I fund this ;https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/706938033/cmoar-virtual-reality-headset-with-integrated-elec/posts/1567312

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5645; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I'm hoping I can connect it to my PC (like the Oculus/Vive/PSVR) I have a PC with an i5 and GTX 760 (mid range 2013, low-end by today's standards), which isn't powerful enough for Oculus/Vive, but is more powerful than the PS4

2. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

Nice. With samsung also developing its own Standalone VR, the market is about to be full of exciting range of products. I guess it would be SD 820 based and have 4-6 GB ram along a 2k display. Please be amoled display.

4. TmoRep

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

A fun but possibly terrifying game for vr would be Mirror's Edge, might just be my fear of jumping from sky scraper to sky scraper but it would be absolutely thrilling. Especially with Cyberith + HTC vive combined.

8. Shocky unregistered

if it's standalone on the cheap then Tegra X1 would be a good option, Google used it in the Pixel C and are rumoured to be using it in the Nexus 7 2016. Regardless of what some silly benchmarks might say the GPU is more powerful than SN820/E8890. Depends if they indeed it to be wireless or not.

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