Google is partnering with HTC and Lenovo to build standalone virtual reality headsets. The new devices won't require a phone or PC and will be made available to consumers later this year. But VR is a crowded space and Google will have to compete with Oculus, Intel, Samsung and others.
According to IDC, global shipments of VR and AR headsets will increase from 10 million units in 2016 to nearly 100 million in 2021.
Google's vice president of virtual and augmented reality Clay Bavor says the key technology here is the use of sensors, instead of external cameras or trackers, that makes the experience more realistic.
These sensors pinpoint your location in the virtual environment using specific features, like bright dots or sharp corners, "which makes the view in the virtual world perfectly correspond with your motion in the real world, and it makes for a far higher sense of realism," Bavor explained.
"Unless your view in the virtual world exactly corresponds exactly to how you're moving in the real world, when you see and feel different things it can be a little uncomfortable."