Google look to be lining up to take the wraps off its own virtual reality headset next week at Google I/O. According to a newly spotted placeholder on the Google Play Developer Console, an Android VR link has appeared alongside Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto, although it’s not yet clickable.
Last week, Pete Rojas (former Engadget Editor) took to Twitter to confirm the rumors that an Android VR headset would make an appearance at Google I/O, also interestingly noting that it wouldn’t be as powerful as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift and would be a standalone device.
Android VR will definitely be announced next week, and from what I’ve heard will be less powerful than the Vive or Rift.
— Peter Rojas (@peterrojas) 11 May 2016
What’s more interesting is that Android VR could be the first untethered headset, meaning that it won’t require a connection to a smartphone or a computer like the rest of the VR headsets on the market. The headset could use motion-tracking cameras powered by Movidius, a company it worked with on the Project Tango smartphone.
If recent rumors are anything to go by, then Google may have figured out how to cut the cord on VR headsets. There’s also some discussion that Google may release two headsets, with one headset that will require a smartphone but be compatible with multiple brands, and will utilise the new Android N operating system so no third-party apps will be required. This native support would bring universal compatibility to pretty much all Android applications and allow developers to easily create VR content.
Google I/O kicks off from May 18-20, 2016, so keep your eyes peeled for what announcements Google have in store for Android VR.