Even though Google reportedly scrapped plans for an Oculus Rift competitor, Engadgetreports that it’s still working on a high-end standalone headset — one that mixes features of augmented reality and virtual reality.
According to sources who spoke with Engadget, the company is moving ahead with a dedicated headset that won’t require the use of a mobile phone or computer to function.Engadget says while the headset has a screen, its feature may lean more on augmented reality. It’s not clear what that would look like yet, but it could mean the device is closer to Microsoft’s HoloLens than something like the Oculus Rift. According to Recode, the original device had been designed to compete with other standalone gaming VR devices, but noted that the company had other hardware projects in development.
Google already has some ambitious plans for virtual reality. Earlier this year, it unveiled Project Daydream, an Android-powered VR platform that built on the successes of Google Cardboard. But the company’s long term plans will move beyond Android-powered experiences to include more substantial hardware, according to Engadget.
Google has worked with augmented reality in other areas: it has backed Florida-based Magic Leap, a company creating “mixed-reality” technology, which reportedly includes its own headset. Given the success of Pokémon Go in the last week, it’s easy to believe that the public is primed for a future with augmented reality.