According to a Variety exclusive, Google may be gearing up to show off a brand new mobile VR headset at Google I/O developer conference this week, one that not only delivers VR in an all-in-one device, but could likely offer inside-out positional tracking as well.

The Variety report maintains information of the alleged all-in-one mobile VR headset—which won’t require a phone or PC to use—was gathered from “multiple sources with knowledge of the project.” Predictably, a Google spokesperson declined to comment.

The report posits that the headset is likely to debut this week in similar fashion to Google Daydream, which was introduced at last year’s Google I/O. Daydream is the company’s high-quality mobile VR platform designed to work with several flagship devices including the company’s own Pixel phone.

image courtesy Google

It’s unsure at this time exactly what a Google-made, all-in-one headset will look like, and whether it will incorporate the company’s augmented reality initiative Tango’s computer vision capabilities or not. Google’s interest in room-scale, interactive experiences is clear however, as evidenced by their early acquisition of VR studio Skillman and Hackett, known for creating Tiltbrush (2016), and more recently their acquisition of VR studio Owlchemy Labs, the minds behind Job Simulator (2016) and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality (2017).

The conference takes place today, May 17th, and goes until the 19th. The opening keynote will be livestreamed on the company’s developer channel on YouTube at 10 am PDT today.

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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.
  • Zach Mauch

    10 years from now today may be looked at in the same light as the 2007 iPhone announcement. Just like that day was for smartphones, this day could be considered the landmark event for VR moving from enthusiast device to the mainstream.

    This is basically the format where it will all be heading. A stand alone headset that will do inside-out positional tracking. Just throw it on and go. I will wait to after the presentation to judge if I think this actually is said event, but there is a chance.

    • Justos

      Im also super excited by this. I love my rift, but an all in one hmd with even 1/2 of the power and 100% mobility would be what I want. Oculus has the right idea that this product class is what will become mainstream.

    • Sponge Bob

      yeah right throw it on and go

      and throw in charged battery every hour, and a little ice pack too

      tethered HMD have bright future, just for the reason above (among dozen other reasons)

      • Ian Shook

        I completely disagree about tethered HMD having a bright future. Right now that is one of the more annoying aspects of VR. With foveated rendering, more efficient streaming, and battery efficiency, I don’t see how there will be a real market for tethered devices.

        • Sponge Bob

          in 5-10 years ? maybe
          next year – no

        • Zach Mauch

          Agreed. Tethered VR/AR (both wired and wireless) will likely be shortlived. The only reason this might not happen is if it can continue to offer a significant performance improvement over all-in-one solutions. Basically the same way PC Gaming has endured despite consoles.

          However, I am not sure that will happen here. Tethered processing just requires so much overhead. This means an on-headset solution has a much better chance of being comparable.

    • NooYawker

      uh.. no. This a mobile VR kit with the phone built into it. The first set of AR glasses that you can put on and go outside and use the same way you would your smartphone will be held up to the first iPhone.

      • Zach Mauch

        Lol! Notice I posted this BEFORE the announcement and I said “may be”. I agree based on what we got this is not a landmark moment, but the release later this year could be.

        • NooYawker

          i look forward to any and all VR advancements. I’d like to see where they’ll go with google glass now that interest in AR is rising.

  • flamaest

    Bring it on.