Google and HTC are partnering up on Google’s new standalone Daydream VR initiative which will see fully-self contained mobile VR headsets built on Android. HTC is bringing its Vive brand to Daydream, today announcing that the company will build a mobile VR headset for the Daydream platform.

HTC and Lenovo are the first two companies announced to be working with Google to make standalone VR headsets for the Daydream platform. A standalone VR headset has all the necessary hardware on board to deliver a complete VR experience without the need to snap in a smartphone like the prior Daydream View headset and Samsung Gear VR. Standalone VR headset’s can be optimized specifically for VR rather than being limited by the design of a smartphone.

HTC has teased a first look at its mobile Vive Daydream headset which is an interesting design departure from the Vive PC headset. The Vive standalone headset will use Google’s newly announced WorldSense inside-out tracking which needs no beacons or external sensors to achieve positional tracking (which goes beyond the rotational-only experience of existing mobile VR experiences that rely on a smartphone).

“We have been working closely with developers and consumers to define the best VR experiences over the past few years, and we are perfectly positioned to deliver the most premium standalone headset and user experience. Vive’s standalone VR headset will provide a deeper and more immersive portable VR experience than ever before.”

HTC says that they’ll be revealing more details about the headset soon and that they plan to launch it later this year.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Lucidfeuer

    Well that’s another incredibly stupid idea. Let’s have standalone screens, you can’t use it with your laptop, computer, console, tv box, media-player but hey! It has locked, redundant and limited hardware that you can only use with Daydream apps…

    How fucking stupid do they get, is anybody on the wheels in these companies anymore, don’t they have an intelligent/prospective/marketing cells that could already tell them how little this is going to interest people or sell even at a 300-400$ pricing? WTF.

    • Justos

      If this thing is 300-400$ it will sell like hotcakes. Don’t underestimate the appeal of ALL-IN VR for 300-400$.

      I was expecting a 599 price tag minimum.

      • Mei Ling

        $300 – $400 is still too much to ask for widespread adoption unless it was absolutely fantastically amazing which it won’t. VR needs significantly more marketing and media exposure (celebrity/internet idol endorsement and encouragement would help) but first it needs content; lots and lots of fun and addictive content that you simply cannot experience through a 2D screen.

        • Jim Cherry

          300 – 400 isnt to bad if payment options are provided considering the companies envolved this will not be 300 – 400 and it will not have flexible payment options. It will have earlier adopters tax and a full years worth of android os updates ;}

          • Xron

            300/400$ just to watch daydreams stuff,? ye right… gonna pass.

        • Lucidfeuer

          Price doesn’t matter, people buy overprice smartphone every day, and they have done since the first iPhone. The difference is that the iPhone was almost perfectly conceived, VR headset are not even products.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Oh please $300-$400 is NOT too much to ask for widespread adoption. And how do you know this isn’t going to be great? Just because you think ‘oh it’s based on mobile so it must be shit’, doesn’t mean these headsets are actually shit.

      • 12Danny123

        I don’t think it’ll be $300 – $400.

        This is going to run on a snapdragon 835

      • Doctor Bambi

        Well $300-400 would be a very, very optimistic price point. We’ve already heard murmurs that these devices will cost closer to what a high end smart phone costs, probably $700-800.

      • Dynastius

        Even at $500 or $600, if it’s good enough, it will sell well. Because the Vive / Oculus cost that plus a strong PC. But considering these probably won’t have as high end graphics capabilities, I think they will come in at something like $400 which would still be worth it depending on the performance. Inside out tracking, dead simple setup, and no wires to another device are huge selling points.

    • VRdeluxe

      Nobody ever wanted to buy a HTC product they were just first to market. Better to be looking elsewhere for cutting edge VR tech. Deepons new E3 Is worth looking into

    • Mei Ling

      But average Bob can’t be arsed with all the wires, and computers, and cameras. He just wants a nice comfortable headset to put on his face that offers a decent VR experience. Oh look!

      • Jim Cherry

        decent vr experience is subjective as hell right now. Seeing as this is a google project ill wait for reviews.

      • Lucidfeuer

        I can’t be arsed with wires, computers and cameras either. What happens when this things sells less than 5000 units? Oh look, you were wrong! VR is -still- about “it”.

    • Ian Shook

      I’m not sure why you’d want it to be used with another device. The whole point of stand-alone VR is that it’s all-in-one. I don’t doubt that there will be some sort of net-based connection to devices – like apple’s icloud or Steam or things that can be accessed and logged in to from multiple devices. My iphone doesn’t require a PC or TV box or console and it can do a lot on it’s own, while sharing with any PC I want. I fail to see the problem. If you want a wired headset that you can’t easily take anywhere then I guess you’re living in the golden age right now.

      • craylon

        one argument for some connectivity were to replace your tv set.
        why not plug in your console or bluray player into such a lightweight device and use it for more then just vr ?

        • Ian Shook

          Craylon – I don’t necessarily disagree with that. I think an input would be a welcome addition to VR devices. But – I wouldn’t want my device to be tethered as Rift and Vive are.

          • craylon

            true true. I am always arguing that if Vr glasses can replace a TV in single person households or as secondary TV the price point would be a bit more appealing to some people. Thats why its important to have a netflix app like google did. The next step in that chain for me would be having a HDMI in so that the kids can play console anywhere in the house on a kind of portable 75” screen.

          • robert cole


            Loved my Vive’s but the tether really was the true immersion breaker, not display resolution (super sampling really helped there) or fiddly head straps.

            I won’t be buying another PCVR HMD until wireless (TP Cast, Intel, etc.) comes officially to market.

            These new standalone devices have real potential. I tried out Google’s Pixel and Daydream yesterday and was impressed with the experience.

          • Ian Shook

            Can you share more about your experience with the Daydream device? Was it the all-in-one or was it a Daydream phone? Can you compare it to Rift/Vive? Was there an AR mode?

      • Lucidfeuer

        This doesn’t stand with the concept of VR. Cue my comparison with TV.

        • Besides, MS can maybe offer streaming its xbox content to it.

          They can add a Riftcat like software to it.

          • Lucidfeuer

            They’ll probably make them compatible with the upcoming Scorpio.

      • Well, if it has better screens/features than Vive than streaming PCVR games to it would be great.

    • Tony Murchison

      The longer I spend on this site, the more I’m convinced that the VR community doesn’t actually want VR to progress. Whenever someone shows up with a new approach, it’s discarded as being inferior to existing systems, too expensive, walled-off, and not yet integrated with their PC, phone, television and bloody dishwasher.

      We don’t know anything about this product. We don’t know its price point, quality, performance, context… Google has a massive number of talented developers, who have revolutionised countless human-computer interactions to some extent. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say they thought about it for a moment before designing the thing.

      Maybe it’ll fail. Maybe it will revolutionise VR. Either way, you’re not worse off. There’s no reason not to give them the benefit of the doubt at least until we know more.

      • Caven

        I know what you mean. I can’t help but feel like some people here were probably complaining back in 1993 that Doom didn’t support widescreen 4K displays at 144Hz, and had primitive MIDI music instead of recording a live band playing the soundtrack and storing it as max-bitrate FLAC audio. VR has a long way to go, but in its current state VR is a HUGE improvement over anything that came before that was even remotely consumer-ready.

      • Lucidfeuer

        That’s the difference between hypocrites and realists. You need a bit of both, the first ones to pretend like everything is normal and okay in order to continue while you can, and the seconds to remind that nothing is won so as to do better, or in fact, is on pretty bad rails and should change course.

        You do your hypocrite thing, but I’ll continue doing mine, believing in science, data prospective and conception, because I already know what’ll happen, and the good reasons why it’s unfortunately going to.

        • beestee

          Hypocrite…or dreamer?

          Just because something is impossible today it doesn’t mean that people should stop looking for ways to make it possible tomorrow.

          You elude to that necessity of balance, but I think the terminology of hypocrite is harsh and incorrect.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I don’t care whether it’s harsh, but I care about it being correct. Hypocrisy is the reason why VR is not certain to be sustainable beyond 2 years from now. There are also way more grave consequences, but non of that is related here.

            Dreamers are not hypocrites, they’re the most critical persons because they settle for what’s possible. So clearly we’re in that case here.

          • beestee

            I have an Oculus Rift, several Cardboard viewers, and a Daydream View for my Pixel XL. Does it make me a hypocrite for supporting technically inferior technology despite having easy access to technically superior technology? Or am I just an avid VR supporter hoping for these worlds to collide sooner rather than later?

          • Lucidfeuer

            Maybe the term “hypocrite” is harsh I recognise. To be hypocrite, a person has to say the contrary to what is known or obvious, which I tend to forget is not always the broader case.

            Supporting and hoping is good as a drive, but unfortunately it never magically change things that ought to be heavily criticise in reality. So I personally don’t hope for something to randomly or magically happen sooner than later, when due to my job, I know it has increasingly high chances of disappearing. Which would sadden and annoy me too, hence why I’m heavily criticising.

            No matter how I put it, the current VR market has now high risks of collapsing in less than 2 years from now.

          • Caven

            That’s seriously the wrong use of the word “hypocrite”. A hypocrite is a person who claims to have different moral standards or beliefs than they actually do. Maybe “optimist” or “idealist” would be more appropriate in this conversation.

          • Laurence Nairne

            I agree that criticism is necessary to make things better, but I think there are several sides to this. The technology itself, while flawed, is improving. Simply introducing consumer priced, standalone headsets that don’t require external tracking devices is a good step forward. In fact it’s the only way it can go if it’s going to be a hardware success story.

            Then there’s the marketing side of the coin. That is a much harder beast, and I agree that they need to do a better job of feeding back into the business proposition of how to bring the devices to market. I agree that walling up your user base is a bad idea if you want the industry to survive.

            That being said, I think that the thing to keep VR alive will not be games, but indeed business applications. My day-to-day is proposing, spec’ing, and building VR applications in the B2B sector, which is very much onboard with the VR evolution, because it saves them significant money in training and allows users to experience potentially hazardous consequences in a safe space (urgh I hate that term now).

            VR won’t die as an industry, but I think for once Microsoft has taken the right direction with the Hololense (albeit at too high a price point) aiming it at industry, rather than the average consumer.

          • You actually expected them during a glimpse of a product to reveal everything you wanted out of it?

            Besides, if RiftCat can make it stream PCVR games well, on top of it maybe having 1080p/4K HDR screens w/ eye tracking and foveated rendering plus roomscale, then that could be very interesting and make it worth it NOT FOR folks like you but folks who play VR games on PC especially if Steam VR can stream games to it including desktop. And …

   Something similar to this

            idc about any of the devices you mentioned. VR Gaming is the selling point of todays PCVR and PSVR so your ideas(though are great and smart to do) is irrelevant…

            Unless they want to appeal to everyone including you.

          • Lucidfeuer

            They shouldn’t appeal to me, but they damn well should appeal to everybody.

            That’s the problem of VR: because of the amazing prospect it brings to the imagination, and also because we’re so familiar with it as the idea has been around for 40 years, and even 25 years in reality, people seem to have forgotten all the realities of technological consumer markets and its laws, like VR “magically” had an infinite amount of time, investment and interest to “somehow” become “something” that will be a practical device and sustainable market.

            In fact, contrary to popular opinion, I think VR right now is ready for everything beside gaming…adapting the interactive gaming paradigm to Virtual Reality is way harder than just transposing 3D game into a virtual headset system. But that’s a detail. The most recent, thus relevant, exemple we have a of a new device paradigm that became a real market is smartphone. The first iPhone sold 6 millions units at 700$ even though nobody knew what it was. 10 years after there are 3 billions people using one…it tells you about how a practical and well conceived device should go. VR is FAR from that…

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Have you actually seen these new headsets yet? who says they won’t even be better than the current Oculus and Vive? which both are almost 1.5 year old when these headsets are being released.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I make (part) of my living not waiting for these headset to have the causal (at least in terms of market, consumer, investment etc…logics) effect, since as soon as they’re announced, the specific contexts around tells you what will happen. Like for the Oculus and Vive sales numbers…

        • daveinpublic

          Haha! So because you complain that a headset still has wires or the resolution isn’t high enough, you’re providing valuable data that the scientists at google are pouring over your posts to see what the future looks like? Hahah! I actually got a small laugh this morning, thank you.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Who says you can’t use it with your laptop/computer/whatever? for video etc you can cast your console etc to you phone, so why shouldn’t you be able to cast it to this headset, it’s using the same hardware and software..
      But don’t count on this headset to be $300-$400, count on it to be more like $600-$700..
      And I think they know the market much better than you do.

      • Lucidfeuer

        1. Because they would have advertised so, through wire or wireless.
        2. They SHOULD know the market much better than I do, but I’m oddly always right on my forecasts dossiers, that’s why I get paid for that.

  • Thorn

    Probably called Daydream because you’ll dream that it had more than 2 hour battery life

    and better graphics.

    • Justos

      My VR sessions are usually 30m-1.5hours max, a 2 hour battery life wouldnt be bad at all for a gen 1 standalone. If this has fast charging enabled (which i imagine it would, just like a phone) then battery life can be recharged quite quickly.

      • FloridaOJ

        I like to escape from reality for a good 3-5 hours at a time, good sir.

        • Justos

          5 hours? That’s impressive lol. I’m a fit dude but my back gets sore after a while.

          • Heimdal

            Your back gets sore from walking around in VR? Damn son.

          • Justos

            Yeah ive been doing stretches which have helped immensely. Probably due to posture. I code at work all day.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Then you’re propably already sitting down, so connecting a chargingcable isn’t that much trouble.

          • Junius Jones

            Nope, I’m on my feet the whole time. Just love it.

          • FloridaOJ

            I’m a 29 year old Army vet, who currently sits all day at his day job. I’m on my feet the entire time I’m in VR.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        And let’s not forget, you can always plug in a long charging cable, just like you do when you’re smartphone is almost out of juice…

    • WyrdestGeek

      I don’t have a vr ready pc, and even if I did, I don’t have a good place to put it.

      So mobile is kinda the only option for me. If it doesn’t overheat like my S6 / Gear VR does, and if it has even halfway decent tracking, and some content, then I’m buying it.

      I’m probably not the only one in this boat. I think there will be a market for this.

      And for a time at least, anything / everything that makes VR more accessible / more well-known will tend to be good for the industry as a whole.


    • Joshua Polivka

      In before someone makes a comment about it being bad without any knowledge on it or knowing that Daydream is already a VR platform that is out on multiple smart phones….ohh wait…


    Tegra Tegra Tegra Tegra. Please say its Tegra :)

  • I am VERY curious to learn more about their inside-out tracking system and how reliable it is. I’ve always thought you can make very compelling VR experiences without huge polygon counts, but the lack of positional tracking is a simply a bridge-too-far. If it’s 99% reliable, and the price isn’t over $300, this could be quite the KILLER product. It’d be simple, reliable, fool-proof, and undoubtedly ripped off by Apple within a month or two of it’s release.

    I wonder about hand-tracking? Any word on that? I didn’t see any mention in the article. Hand tracking is like 50% of the experience to fully appreciate VR. I think Oculus’s sales compared to the VIVE can attest to it’s immutable value.

    • beestee

      Word from Google I/O is that this still relies on the 3DoF Daydream controller…not ideal by a long shot. However, getting a 6DoF headset is progress in the right direction.

      Interested to see how Microsoft is handling this with their newly announced motion controllers. My guess is that when the controllers move outside the FOV of the inside-out sensors in the headset that gyroscopic sensors may simply approximate the calculations at that point. If you read between the lines in the MS announcement it seems they might be considering the addition of an outside-in sensor for the setup.

      • Laurence Nairne

        It’ll also be interesting to see how the two giants go head-to-head when brought to market. Microsoft have no experience in releasing a commercial HMD thus far (as Hololense is an industry grade bit of kit first and foremost), and I anticipate there will be pros and cons of either tracking solution.

        I am a bit sad that we’re stuck with the old Daydream controller for a 6DoF headset, but I imagine that’ll change given time. Definitely makes sense working this way around (HMD first, then haptics).

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Expect the price to be well over $300.. It will have the special QualCom VR proc which isn’t cheap.

      • What is the likelihood it shall have 1080p/4K HDR widescreens w/ eye tracking and foveated rendering plus roomscale, and Steam VR streaming PCVR games to it(Much like apps like RisftCat do) based on what’s possible these days?

        How could it affect the price too? Under $1000? What if it had AR capabilities and can stream AR apps from the PC giving it better than Hololens vision/capabilities?

        What if it included Something similar to this?

        I see too much as asked…ah well :)

  • REP

    Let me guess…the resolution is going to be shitty just like any other VR headsets.

  • Me

    So that’s what I’ve said would be happening: the Vive as we know it is meant for arcades, industries and research. The real consumer product will be this new all-in-one solution.

    I expect far better VR than what a Gear VR can offer because it will be optimized for that and not be a phone first. Now will be on par with the Vive’s capabilities ? Probably bot, but Nintendo’s approach showed that good and original content wasn’t … linked (see what I did there (^_^)’…) to monstruous hardware performance.

    If the price is right, there might be good adoption and content should follow quickly.

  • I was expecting a review… damn! :D

  • Foreign Devil

    when I look at the size and cost of an Nvidia 1080 video card I wonder how you can fit it inside that thing. I want graphics to really transport me. . I just can’t see that happening with all the computing components inside the HMD. I’m fine with cables and cameras. . I don’t see those anyways when I’m wearing the HMD. I don’t want blocky graphics.

  • Surykaty

    The thing that is in my opinion killing the vr is

    1) Displays suck… SDE, Low resulution, one focal plane (ok this one is hard to solve.. magic leap?)… what have the oled display producers been doing??? What have been the display producers doing for the last 3 or so years? The graphic cards have enough power to upscale in case of realtime shaded things like games.. for pre-rendered or pre-captured content even mobile chips can handle 16K stereoscopic 360 VR content as shown by Otoy.
    2) Still no proper hi-resolution capture stereoscopic or full 3d cameras… they suck with dynamic range, resolution, sharpness due to wacky optics.. all it would take is some high-quality high resultion 180 degre stereoscopic PORN on 2K per eye (4k total) non-sde displays (at 100 to 110 fov) and the world is sold on VR finally…

    the displays simply lacked from the day one

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Having the DK2, and hearing about all the SDE bitching of the CV1 and Vive I wasn’t expecting any real difference between the DK2 and the PSVR in regard to SDE. But yesterday I had the PSVR on my head for the first time, and my god what are people a bunch of assholes bitching about SDE, the PSVR didn’t have any real noticeable SDE compared to the DK2. Yes it’s there if you are really looking for it (but even then), but if you turn your attention to the game it just isn’t noticeable compared to the DK2.. Don’t mind if the SDE is the same on newer headsets as long as the POV is enlarged..
      And my first headset was the Forte VFX-1, so I’m pretty used to old displays, but people just should stop bitching about it.. Instead of focusing on higher resolution displays (which ofcourse is ok), they should focus on better lenses which you can actually focus and position to your eyes (best would even if this is done automatically), because THAT’S one of the biggest reasons for motion sickness, not low resolution, not low FPS and not low latency, but not properly focused lenses.. I have no motion sickness with my VFX-1 which has crap resolution, crap fps and crap latency, but it has the best way to setup the lenses..
      And if you don’t believe me that one of the bigger problems are being able to properly setup your lenses, then I would invite you to go to your local optician and ask them to let you put on some lenses which aren’t property aligned for your eyes, and then start moving your head and walk…. You’ll be blowing chuncks in no time.. (ofcourse higher resolution and fps make the experience much better, and better latency will also lessen the motion sickness, but good focus is the biggest problem).

      • polysix

        I’ve had DK2, PSVR and Vive. SDE isn’t the biggest problem with any of them (and as you say PSVR handles it fairly nicely considering it’s lower res – though RGB which helps).

        The main problem is LOW resolution and LOW FOV. For what Most people would enjoy as ‘virtual reality’. Even the hardcore users get a bit fed up of that resolution (starts to make you tired) and fov (makes you feel boxed in) after a while.

        I’ve sold all my VR stuff, am waiting for true GEN 2 – 4k, foveated, wireless and 120 FOV minimum. Anything else I’ll pass on.

        Also must have pure inky blacks (i’ll gladly take black smear over grey/dirty blacks/gauze overlay) and NO GOD RAYS!!

        Ergonomics must be more like PSVR, if not better.
        Flip up screen is vital (as a dev esp)

        Give me all that and you have my cash. If not, I’ll wait till someone does deliver it.

  • + FOVE + FOVE + FOVE + FOVE + FOVE + FOVE…. pleaseeee!

  • CazCore

    is WorldSense just a new name for Project Tango?

  • Richard Jones

    So how do we get into contact with HTC to sell their product. They aren’t following normal wholesale contact avenue’s.