Standalone virtual reality (VR) headsets have a lot of appeal. You don’t need a specific type of, of expensive, smartphone and you don’t need to worry about time in VR eating up your phone’s battery. It’s also portable, so can be easily taken on a train or plane without needing cumbersome cables. Not surprising, then, that Google have gone down the standalone headset route with the reveal of more details on the Mirage Solo.
Google initially revealed plans for a standalone version of its Google Daydream at the Google I/O event in 2017. Since then, Google’s Vice President of Virtual and Augmented Reality Clay Bavor says the company has been fostering partnerships with other companies such as Lenovo and YI to not only create a new headset, but also new, portable and affordable ways to capture the important moments of people’s lives in 360-degrees with new pocket-sized VR cameras.
The Lenovo Mirage Solo will use a newly-developed technology google have named WorldSense. This builds on years of work Google have done into localisation, mapping and tracking to allow for inside-out tracking that Google claim is on a level with PC-based sensor tracking. WorldSense is said to allow for movements such as ducking, dodging, leaning and moving forwards, backwards or side-to-side in a strafing motion, allowing new gameplay elements to be added.
Google say that the Lenovo Mirage Solo will have a wide field-of-view and an improved display for blur-free images to minimise the ‘screen-door effect’. Google are also working with developers to bring new content to the platform, including a title based in the iconic cyberpunk universe of Blade Runner, titled Blade Runner: Revelations. Lenovo Mirage Solo users will also have access to the currently available Google Daydream catalogue of over 250 apps and videogames.
Also being introduced are the VR180 cameras, simple pocket-sized devices designed to be accessible to all users that allows anyone to capture three-dimensional images and videos in ultra HD 4K resolution. Those captured images or videos can then be viewed on Google Cardboard, Google Daydream or the Lenovo Mirage Solo.
The release date for the Lenovo Mirage Solo has not yet been revealed, but the first of the VR180 cameras, such as the YI Horizon VR180 and the Lenovo Mirage Camera, are expected to go on sale sometime in Spring 2018. Further information on Google’s VR projects will be here on VRFocus.