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Google reportedly working on 'mixed-reality' headset, no phone or computer required

By Jos ยท 12 replies
Oct 24, 2016
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  1. [parsehtml]<p><img src="https://www.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2016/10/2016-10-24-image-15.jpg" /></p> <p>Google is making a play for virtual reality with the Daydream platform, but the company is said to be working on a separate project that combines both VR and AR into a standalone headset that doesn&rsquo;t require a smartphone or a computer. According to a report from <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/24/google-standlone-vr-ar-headset-eye-tracking/">Engadget</a>, citing people familiar with the matter, the unnamed headset will introduce eye-tracking technology capable of mapping out the real-world space in front of users.</p> <p>The end result will supposedly blur the line between virtual and augmented reality, displaying digital objects alongside environments and objects from the real world &mdash; not unlike what Microsoft is doing with HoloLens. There&rsquo;s little else in the way of details at this point but the report claims some components powering the device are being provided by Movidius, the computer vision company that Intel is acquiring for an undisclosed sum.</p> <p>A separate report from The Drum point to a recent FCC filing for a &ldquo;wireless virtual reality&rdquo; prototype that operates between 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies, that lists Mike Jazayeri, director of product management for Google&#39;s VR group, as a contact, though Engadget does note that there&rsquo;s not enough evidence to tell if this is the headset in question.</p> <p>While VR headsets are just starting to hit the market in their consumer-ready form, many in the tech industry believe the future might be in &quot;mixed reality.&quot;</p> <p>Magic Leap is working on a similar concept and Apple has dropped some hints about this being an area of interest. On that note, Robert Scoble posted a fairly speculative piece about this on <a href="https://medium.com/@scobleizer/im-inside-tim-cook-s-head-but-I-really-wonder-what-s-going-on-inside-mark-zuckerberg-s-head-5babf01c5713#.7on9q8yy4">Medium</a> a couple of days ago that&rsquo;s worth a read. It offers some hints &mdash; based on research &mdash; of how Apple expects to get in on the VR market.</p><p><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/66793-google-reportedly-working-mixed-reality-headset-no-phone.html' target='_blank'>Permalink to story.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/66793-google-reportedly-working-mixed-reality-headset-no-phone.html'>https://www.techspot.com/news/66793-google-reportedly-working-mixed-reality-headset-no-phone.html</a></p>[/parsehtml]
  2. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 208   +181

    Anyone wanna bet on how hard this will fail? I put down $20 for 3,000,000 purchases of the set.
  3. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +322

    This is so ridiculous.

    I mean:

    Chinese manufacturers must be DYING of laughter- laughing at us.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,123   +2,547

    That looks like a VR for cold regions, LOL.
  5. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 129   +17

    LOL you pointed out that right. With all those coverings I also didn't seem to realize at first sight that it actually is a VR.
  6. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +68

    Augmented reality and VR are the future. Imagine going to work in your cold grey office except the office looks like the ritz or a beautiful beach. Your colleagues are wandering around and doing what they do but if you like you can tone them down, reduce their influence on your vision - lower their ability to distract you. After playing the PSVR on Saturday for the first time, its scary how quickly this technology will improve and how advanced the offering in 5 years will be. I could easily imagine a virtual office where you don't have a crazy expensive 27" screen but you do have a lightweight VR headset which has a representation of a huge screen in front of you, on your desk. Heck, you could have 3 large screens in front of you. The limit is only the resolution of the VR display.
    killmess likes this.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,433   +2,888

    All good comments, I'm just surprised that no one mentioned the future feature of this hooking to your texting function so you can talk, text, and see it all in 3D at the same time you're driving .... yeah, somebody will be dumb enough to try it! I better alert the Tennessee Highway Patrol so their officers can be re-trained not to laugh so hard THEY drive off the road!
  8. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 529   +990

    Instead you'll be distracted by either squawking imaginary seagulls or the fake-ness of a silent beach (if you hit mute), not to mention inadvertently making yourself the target of practical jokes if you're the only one who can't see what's going on and you make it so obvious you're blocking colleagues out... To be honest, if your office is that noisy and your job doesn't involve communicating with your colleagues / customers, then earplugs have been around decades, cost $5, require no batteries and are a lot more socially discrete.

    And the general discomfort and annoyance of wearing a headset all day long which far outweighs everything else. And place of work's privacy / security policy (ie, not wearing 'connected' headsets with camera's pointed at computer monitors displaying sensitive banking / legal / medical, etc, info). Stuff like professional photo work isn't just about screen size or resolution but proper calibration, gamut, color accuracy. Many jobs involve giving presentations where more than 1 person needs to see it (and each other) at the same time. Increased HR health & safety issues (ie, "Hey these things give me a migraine / neck strain", etc).

    Trust me, spending a large sum of money sticking everyone under a VR headset is literally the last thing businesses want...
  9. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +68

    You aren't seeing the bigger picture. Mobile phones were massive when they were first released and they just get smaller and smaller - if battery tech wasn't holding them back they would be even thinner. So in 5 years or 10 years, VR headsets will be smaller, lighter, possibly even the same as wearing a pair of glasses now. Who thought a pair of glasses could have a camera installed on them and be light enough to wear all day 5 years ago then comes Google glass. And colleagues wouldn't take the piss because everyone would be wearing the technology. Everyone in their own virtual environment. And forget the silliness of seagulls and other stuff like that - the creation of VR worlds that can be used in these headsets for general daytime use as a supplement to your actual reality could be big business. It sounds all sci-fi and crazy but its completely possible. When you can put a headset on and walk around a full scale model of something you are working on as an architect, or watch a computerised model of the car you are working on perform on a racetrack, as you stand on the sidelines or watching from the stands, the possibilities are infinite. Do you ever sit listening at work to a soundtrack that would be better placed in a steam room at a spa? Why not sit on top of a mountain in Nepal listening to wind chimes while you type your code. All thats missing is a feeding tube..
  10. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 529   +990

    "Proper" VR will never be as light as glasses precisely because it's a key design requirement to block out external light and "seal" the eyes from outside! It's like wanting a 5-seat car to "shrink" down to a bicycle yet still seat 5 people "because sci-fi". You look at a VR screen through lenses (which need to be a minimum focal distance) plus an external seal, but you look through glasses with no screen or seal. Nor do mobile phones need lenses between the screen and your eyes. The "thinness" of phones or shrinking transistors is not remotely the same thing.

    "Augmented" reality that overlays something onto the regular background you see (eg, like a aircraft HUD) by having just a transparent screen doesn't "block" anything out and is therefore useless as an anti-distraction device. "Painting" a beach landscape with AR won't "replace" what you see, it'll just look odd half blended in with your office with sand colored filing cabinets sticking out your "beach", fluorescent lights and other people's office monitors floating mid-air in your "sea", etc. The nearest real analogy is "Go buy a projector but instead of using a flat pure white projection screen, aim it at your variable depth, multi-coloured furniture and try and watch a movie like that..."

    You are also wildly overestimating "everyone wants it". They really don't. It's an enthusiasts toy mostly for gaming. Google Glass and 3DTV have already epicly flopped due to misplaced marketing over-estimations, even with the full weight of Google / the entire home entertainment industry behind it.
  11. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +68

    Then they will move the technology to the optical nerve and you can switch it on and off with a dial on your ear. If you think its only going to be used for gaming you have no imagination.

    Heres a picture of some glasses that would block out the light given some development (like 20 years development):-


    Whats to stop VR displaying an image and then certain items in your close proximity appearing within that image? Mixing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality together isn't having just one and ignoring the other. Something like Snapchats filters was probably thought impossible a few years ago - now everyone can make dog ears appear in real time and stupid licky tongues pop out their mouths. Who says kids won't stick the goggles on and wander around with everyone having stupid tongues and angel wings in their rainbow landscaped my little pony inspired wonderland. Kids right now are being born into a world where VR is considerably easier to encounter than previously and they will think its normal like they think Twitch and Youtube are normal and they won't remember when it didn't exist. Who knows what they will think of to use VR for. Certainly a load of stuff we haven't thought of yet.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  12. QWales

    QWales TS Rookie

    If I was to put Google Glass inside a pair of skiing goggles and then cover it in cheap carpet...
    yukka and BSim500 like this.
  13. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 129   +17

    A perfect depiction of this current carpeted VR!

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