Google Might Be Making A Stand-Alone VR Headset — But For Whom?

Google Might Be Making A Stand-Alone VR Headset — But For Whom?
Google appears to be experimenting with the try-everything-and-see-what-sticks approach to virtual reality.

Google is said to be preparing its own standalone entry into the virtual reality space.

This wouldn't require a companion computer or even a smartphone to operate. It would carry its own processors, forward-facing cameras and head-tracking chips from Google partners.

Industry-watchers expect Google is trying to strike a so-called "middle ground" between its Cardboard and other high-end headsets, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

But at the same time, Google is said to be planning both a refresh for Cardboard and a smartphone-based VR headset, a la Samsung's Gear VR.

In other words, the market is getting even more crowded — even while only a few offerings from a few companies are available so far.

It's not clear at this point who Google would be going after with a self-contained headset.

The enthusiasts and early adopters will probably have their high-end headsets. Those who want a taste of VR can pick up a Cardboard. For everyone else, there's Gear VR or other smartphone solutions.

At this point, Google might just be looking for something that sticks. One analyst the Wall Street Journal spoke with described VR as a "platform war." Since it's not yet evident where the sweet spot is for this kind of tech, Google and its competition are going to staff up and try new things. For us consumers, that's a win.

This video includes images from Getty Images and clips from MovidiusGoogleSamsungHTC, and Oculus VR.