As high-end virtual reality headsets begin to hit the market, we can take a step back to re-evaluate just how we got here. Before Google released its Cardboard virtual reality headset, a consumer’s only option for VR was to pick up an Oculus Rift development kit which, at the time, offered low resolution and had an extremely small amount of content available. Until 2015, a consumer’s view of VR was extremely limited, and people really knew nothing about the technology. Google’s introduction of an inexpensive set of hardware that worked with almost any smartphone was something that rocketed virtual reality into mainstream media, and helped define virtual reality as it is today. Though Oculus was already working on a consumer version to bring to market, Google’s Cardboard paved the way for people to truly get excited about the technology. There haven’t been many announcements regarding updates to Google’s hardware since it’s release at I/O 2015, but there is hope that it will get some sort of radical change at the annual developer conference this year.
Samsung’s Gear VR headset is widely regarded as being on a whole separate level as Google’s cardboard, so it is likely that we will be seeing something a lot more robust in the near future. This future may be a whole lot closer than we think however, as Google is planning on putting on a 1 hour session dedicated to the technology at this year’s annual event.
Currently, Samsung’s Gear VR is really the only mainstream headset that fills the gap between Cardboard and high end headsets like the Rift and the Vive, so there is plenty of room for intermediary hardware to hit the market. The addition of a head strap and more premium components adds another level to the experience, so something that Google could charge more than $15 for would fit nicely into the market.
Though we have heard nothing about what Google is planning on announcing at the conference, we can only assume that it will be beneficial to the market. Even if there is just a software upgrade to the Google cardboard platform, any update is welcome, as it can only help the platform grow. Now that Vive and Rift are gaining media attention, we can only assume that mobile VR will begin to soar, and we should expect to see quite a few new applications hit the market in the coming months.
What do you want to see announced at the conference? Let us know.
Via: Road to VR