VIVE Standalone Headset Announced
Today, at Google I/O, it was announced that Google will be partnering with HTC (VIVE) to develop a standalone VR headset with full head position tracking. No phone. No PC. Standalone VR.
It was just an announcement so short of the limited details they shared at Google I/O, the details are non-existent at this time except to say that this new Standalone headset will work with Google's Daydream platform.
Another takeaway that is not mentioned here is the positional head tracking that this device will include, or as they're calling it "WorldSense". Mobile VR's Achilles heel is the fact that it's only 3-point head tracking (up-down,rotate-left/right,& tilt) as opposed to the VIVE/RIFT headsets which offer 6-point tracking (up-down, side-to-side, forward-back). This is big because it opens the door for room-scaled experiences delivered through a mobile device.
Google I/O depicted this new VIVE HMD as an outline alongside a single basic looking controller which looks a lot like the remotes that come with the Oculus Rift/GearVR. This worries me because if I am going to pay a premium for a standalone HMD I'd want it to offer fully-tracked, hand-controller support.
Remember "Project Soli"? That's Google's radar hand tracking technology. Okay, this is a stretch... but maybe a variant of this technology or a hybrid of this and WorldSense or Tango might be the secret-sauce on these standalone devices. Maybe it's the reason why they're not fully revealing how they look, only outlines and silhouettes, who knows.
Anyway it's all brand new and exciting stuff... so we don't have any specifics... just this mysterious silhouette.