Nothing can snap you out of an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience faster than tripping over a cord, which is why VR companies have been scrambling to develop wireless systems. Google is taking that freedom a step further, working to develop a headset that’s not only wireless, but also works anywhere you want to go.
The company has reportedly been working on the stand-alone VR system for more than a year now. The goal has been to create a headset that could handle everything needed to deliver a stunning virtual experience sans PC, phone, or gaming console — not easy when you consider the whole thing needs to also be comfortable to wear.
This week, Variety reported that the world could potentially finally get a glimpse of this standalone headset in action at Google’s I/O developer conference. Sure enough, yesterday afternoon a standalone VR headset was announced at the event, but Google’s name wasn’t the only one attached to it.
According to Backchannel, a “reference model” of the device has already been created with the help of Qualcomm, and the final commercial version should be ready in the next few months. It’s expected to cost in the mid-hundreds range, making it financially comparable to the already released Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Google hasn’t been the only company to pursue powerful standalone VR systems — Facebook is working on its own, as is Samsung. While a release date for Google’s system is still forthcoming, clearly we won’t have to wait much longer for the virtual world to reach that next level of freedom.