Google is developing a new virtual reality headset for smartphones, as well as improving the VR capabilities of its Android platform, Financial Times said.
The headset, which will follow the company’s low-cost Cardboard viewer, will be a more substantial device with “better sensors, lenses and a more solid plastic casing”, the report said – cardboard is essentially just a holder for a smartphone, with no additional sensors.
And the company is also looking to integrate VR capabilities into the Android platform, rather than relying on the capabilities of standalone apps. This, the report said, would help address issues such as lag, which can have a significant impact on device users, including inducing headaches or nausea.
The moves are likely to be announced at Google’s I/O developer event later this year.
The moves are not surprising, what with VR becoming an increasingly important area for a number of Google’s key rivals – Facebook in particular has been making the running.
A number of Google’s partners in the smartphone space are also investing in VR, such as HTC and Samsung (working with Facebook’s Oculus).
It was reported last month that Google had set up a virtual reality unit intended to drive its work with the technology.