Google to launch Cardboard VR headset successor this year

Refined hardware said to be a rival to Samsung’s Gear VR
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A new virtual reality headset is on the way from Google later this year, if reports are to be believed.

A follow-up to the lo-fi VR solution Google Cardboard will feature improved sensors, lenses and a more robust chassis, according to ‘people familiar with the company’s plans’ speaking to the Financial Times.

Like Cardboard, the new hardware will be powered by an attached smartphone, which will provide display and processing capabilities.

Accompanying the device will be new Android VR technology, which will focus on boosting resolution and minimising latency by building in support for virtual reality at a base level into the firmware. Cardboard currently relies on non-native applications to provide VR experiences.

The rumoured headset will be a more direct competitor with Samsung’s rival Gear VR platform, which was developed in collaboration with Oculus, and will support a broader range of Android handsets.

These reports closely follow the creation of a division dedicated to VR and appointment of Clay Bavor as VP of virtual reality at Google, in a move seen as an effort to counter-act the progress of companies such as Oculus, Samsung, Sony and HTC in the sector.

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