Google has been flirting with the idea of a standalone VR headset for several years now. While the Daydream View VR headset is similar to the Samsung Gear VR in that it requires phones in order to use properly, Google is also working on a standalone VR headset that doesn’t require a phone to use. Think Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
A new report from Engadget suggests that since the Daydream VR headset has shipped, Google has increased its focus on this standalone headset. People familiar with the matter said Google is working to integrate eye tracking with sensors and algorithms to map out real-world space in front of people. This is more than just virtual reality, this is augmented reality. With the new tech, Google will be able to display digital items alongside a person’s real-world environment.
This lines up with what we know about Google’s VR efforts from the outside, as today eye tracking company Eyefluence announced that they’ve been acquired by Google to “advance eye-interaction technology to expand human potential and empathy on an even larger scale.” That’s a pretty broad statement, but it’s not a big leap of logic to assume that the team will be helping Google with their standalone headset. Could we be getting Google Glass v2 a la Geordi la Forge?