HTC, Lenovo to develop standalone VR headsets with Google

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GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that it's working on standalone Daydream virtual reality (VR) headsets, with HTC and Lenovo signed up to build them.

Google has sunk more energy into turning around its low-to-middle tier Daydream VR experience, announcing a slew of partnerships relating to the virtual reality headset. This essentially describes how Google's Tango system works and that is likely the base code for the new platform called WorldSense.

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These new standalone headsets now come equipped with the all-new WorldSense positional tracking, which is an option that will let the headset track the user's movements in space, without the need to install any external sensors whatsoever.

Among them, perhaps the most impactful to the gaming industry is the next step in what Google is calling Daydream VR.

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Google Home, Google Photos, a standalone Google VR Headset, and Google's assistant were all topics of discussion during Google's annual developer conference in California Wednesday. It's a simple 2D UI inside VR that allows you to look through your notifications and access some of the controls you can usually find on your notification shade.

New smartphones that will support Daydream include the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, which will get the required software update this summer. The devices will be coming out at a later point this year. The company intends to "deliver the most premium standalone headset and user experience", and says it'll have more information "soon". The technology uses several sensors included in the device to make the virtual experience match the real world, as much as it can. Oculus made a strategic mistake with a very affordable (obviously subsidized) development kit, and then jacked the price of retail devices. The Gear VR and Sony's PlayStation VR lead the way, but with only 7% of respondents saying they're interested. It's meant to be an indoor alternative to Global Positioning System and is now being trialled in select Lowe's stores and museums.

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