If you’re waiting on positionally-tracked controllers for Google’s latest entry into the Daydream platform, the standalone 6DOF VR headset Lenovo Mirage Solo, you probably won’t ever see it, at least not from Google.

Google’s annual I/O dev conference was strangely bereft of any big news surrounding Lenovo Mirage Solo, the 6DOF standalone Daydream headset which launched only a few days prior. 6DOF stands for six degrees of freedom, meaning you can physically walk around and play room-scale VR games.

Shipping with a single 3DOF controller (rotation only), we were hoping to hear something about the company’s promising low-cost, inside-out controller tracking at Google I/O, which essentially gives positional tracking to 3DOF controllers using computer vision. Speaking to CNET, Google’s Head of VR & AR Clay Bavor says he isn’t expecting any of the 6DOF controller tech to make it to Mirage Solo.

Photo by Road to VR

In an interview with Bavor, CNET asked why there aren’t new controllers yet, or whether they would ever arrive. Here’s Bavor’s response:

“First of all, our focus on the Mirage Solo is really on the visual experience side of it, more focused on consumers and in places, education as well, really emphasizing a great consumption experience as opposed to creation.”

Lenovo Mirage Solo Review: Positional Tracking Comes to Mobile VR (sort of)

Continuing: “It’s very clear that what’s ahead in VR is richer and richer forms of input, positionally tracked controllers, but we also have our hands, our eyes, using our bodies, all of that is in time going to be part of I think the overall VR experience. Again, VR, [AR], immersive computing all being about vastly richer input and output.”

In a roundabout way, Bavor is saying that Mirage Solo simply isn’t in a position to take advantage of 6DOF controllers, unlike the upcoming Oculus Santa Cruz headset, which features both 6DOF head and controller tracking.

“I wouldn’t expect anything on the Mirage Solo, but directionally, I think that’s where the technology, the industry is going,” he added.

This largely makes sense from a few perspectives—one of the most important being game design. Many of the titles on the Daydream platform were designed for 3DOF input, and wouldn’t really benefit from the inclusion of 6DOF tracking. While the usefulness of 6DOF headset tracking can be still discussed for inherently 3DOF games, it at very least provides a measure of comfort to the overall user, as we make subtle head readjustments even when sitting still. Whether that’s worth the headset’s $400 price, well, that remains to be seen; there are still relatively few games that make good use of the headset’s 6DOF capabilities.

The company’s computer vision-based controller tracking may one day find its way onto future VR headsets, but at least for the meantime, Mirage Solo owners shouldn’t hold their breath.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Luke

    just why not?

  • impurekind

    I’ll only really be interested in these standalone headsets when both the headset and the included TWO controllers are full 6DoF.

    So Santa Cruz is the only genuinely exciting standalone VR headset on the near-horizon for me right now.

  • MarquisDeSang

    They wont invest on a dead on arrival product. Oculus Go killed Mirage, Gear VR and Vive Focus.

    • dk

      3dof has been a dead cause meant as a demo similar to real vr since the dk1 and should have died with cardboard/plastic headsets for 3dof phones

      • ben2

        Read the article. They practically said a big NO for daydream roomscale. Daydream stucked halfway between 3dof and roomscale, ie. made the worst compromise: expensive technology without its benefits with almost no software support. Already dead.
        Meanwhile Oculus Go breaks sales records and work as an entry drog: whoever bought Go will try Santa Cruz and will buy it if he feels the difference between 3dof and roomscale.

        • dk

          there r multiple videos of people walking around when they turn off the safeguard …..and it’s the same platform the vive focus is using and there r demos with that running around fields …..the software as far as the safeguard is not polished and needs to be updated

          the go would have been a great move one or 2 years ago …..it’s just sad that oculus is making a 3dof headset when finally 6dof in self contained headsets is coming to the market …..the go is literally one gen behind at date of release……..but sure it’s neat for a cheap similar to vr experience

  • Ted Joseph

    Having a blast with the GO, but it feels like it should have went with the next snapdragon processor as some of the games glitch when things get a bit busy. Bigscreen wont even play when there are more than a few people in the room. Lets hope it is only because of the software and not the hardware, but based on the fact that it is older technology, my hopes are not high…

    • Engineer_92

      Bigscreen just recently made it over to mobile so there may still be some optimizations implemented in the upcoming updates. As for the rest of the glitchy games, hopefully they are just a product of the same issues and can be fixed

    • Peter Marcus

      Ha. A slightly more powerful processor is not going to fix BigScreen.

      But sure, a Go with 6-DOF, the latest processor, a micro SD slot, and a larger battery would rock. The screen seems good enough as it is.

      • Muzufuzo

        I would add 3840×2160 pixels display.

    • Darshan

      Certainly.. we need Oculus Go with at least Sanpdragon 835 if not 845..

  • MosBen

    It’s just like with console games, you don’t want to split your market with peripherals that only some of the consumers will have access to. 6DOF controllers probably weren’t ready in time to be incorporated into the Lenovo Mirage, but my guess is that a Daydream HMD will be released in a year or so that will have it.

  • Andres Velasco

    Why even bother releasing a half baked with bad support expensive VR headset? Don’t see this units selling well at all. Show clear lack of commitments to the platform. Will skip this one

    • dk

      I guess because they can use their library of apps just like they r and just add a small line of code about 6dof…….but yeah 6 dof controllers will be sweet and possibly even more expensive and demanding on the hardware
      and on the other hand 3dof is extra half baked demo of something close to vr from the days of the dk1 ….but it is cheap …because it’s extra half baked

  • gothicvillas

    3dof will kill vr. People attach phones to their faces and then not happy. What next? Attach fax machine on your head?

  • Darshan

    What a nonsensical , Google it self demoed 6dof vr controller tracking possible on cheap mobile phone cameras…


    Now what they are using on Mirage solo must be much better camera..

    Why on earth Google not implementing it from day1 in their own all in one vr hmd?

  • Darshan

    May be Google Camera 6DOF tracking needs PC class processing power and may not mobile processing friendly..

  • tommet

    When this hits $250, I’ll buy one.

  • I wasn’t expecting it. Maybe in next version

  • Sami Tito

    Don’t expect nothing from Google to the vr industry exept a cardbord in your nose or a bullshit RA appli in yur face.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    This is surprising and not at the same time. Not because if they didn’t release 6DOF controllers with it then they likely have no intention of doing so. But surprising to an extent because support could be added through a software update.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Do not waste money on Chinese garbage