Google seems to be taking their Cardboard viewer up a notch and is ready to take the battle head on against other key players in the virtual reality industry.
Google is said to be developing its next generation of VR headset that will work better with smartphones. This move is an upgrade to their Cardboard viewer that they introduced back in 2014. Along with the hardware, the company is also expected to pour in applications and additional support for the technology in its own Android operating system.
Many actually thought that Google was joking when they announced the Google Cardboard project, a virtual reality device made out of cardboard. However, Google has shipped more than 5 million viewers to date.
Google’s new VR headset is said to be able to accommodate more smartphone models, which will make it easily available to a wider audience. One of its competitors, the Samsung Gear VR, is currently limited to selected Samsung Galaxy models.
This also means that the user’s smartphone will still be needed on the rumored contraption. Similar to the Cardboard viewer, users are likely to still be required to insert their respective mobile phones with the necessary application in order to use the VR functionality. This is also the same case with Samsung’s Gear VR and other VR headsets, as the Financial Times reported,
To further strengthen the idea that Google is up to something in terms of VR technology, Time interviewed Google’s Cardboard head Clay Bavor back in January.
He said, “The amazing thing about Cardboard is that it’s truly VR for everyone with a smartphone. We think there’s something powerful and important in that. Is that the end of the line? Of course it’s not the end of the line. I think if you imagine the types of things that a company with the ambition and the technical resources and the know-how of Google would be working on, we’re working on a lot of those things.”
Google is also known to be developing its own Android VR technology and, once it is up and running, the tech community might then be able to see the rumored VR headset. It is highly speculated that these may all happen this year.