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Google Working on Standalone Mixed Reality Headset

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While Google has been reported to be working on a high-end standalone VR headset for a while, the device wasn’t shown off at its expected unveiling at Google I/O 2016. Now, a report claims that Google has cancelled work on this front, while another claims a standalone headset that merges augmented and virtual reality is in the works.

On Friday, Re/code reported that Google has decided to shut down its standalone VR headset project that was being built to compete with the likes of HTC Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift. The report said that Google is instead shifting its focus to mobile VR. However, a new report from Engadget claims that the search giant is still working on a mixed reality headset that “blurs the line between virtual reality and augmented reality.”

Engadget on Saturday cited people familiar with matter to say Google might have scrapped a particular project but that it has been “actively assigning individuals to work on a high-end headset in recent months.” This headset will not require a PC or smartphone to function, the report claimed.

Interestingly, the report by Engadget also claims that the team members working on new headset have been told that Daydream is not the company’s long-term plan for virtual and augmented reality.

The article, however, did add that Daydream does remain an area of focus at Google, and that multiple teams are presently working on its development, but it is “a stepping stone towards a grander hardware push.”

Last month ahead of Google’s I/O there were rumours that the company will be announcing a standalone VR headset that won’t require a mobile or PC for functioning, instead the company announced its mobile VR platform Daydream.
Daydream will only work with selective Android Nougat smartphones, with special sensors and screens, supporting refresh rates in order to minimise the latency and allow a crisp, smooth VR experience.