New reports indicate that Google is planning to release a Gear VR competitor and YouTube 360 live streaming this year.
The rumor mill is coming in strong this past week and it looks like all signs are pointing to continued efforts from Google into virtual reality.
Google’s VR Headset
In a report from The Financial Times, Google is planning to release their own version of the virtual reality headset akin to Samsung’s Gear VR. Sources told the paper that the headset will have a plastic casing and will support a wider range of smartphones than the Gear VR. Right now, the Gear VR is only compatible with Samsung’s latest line of phones (Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, S6, and S6 edge). The Google VR headset is expected to feature “better sensors” and “lenses,” running off of Android VR, Google’s rumored virtual reality operating system.
YouTube 360 Live Streaming
In a separate report from BuzzFeed News, the world’s top video sharing platform, YouTube, is in talks with 360-degree camera manufacturers to add support for live streaming video.
Just like with rumors of Google’s VR headset, a launch timeline is unclear for YouTube 360 live streaming. Google has been making significant strides with YouTube 360, having launched 360-degree video last March and adding 3D VR capabilities to the platform in November.
As Google’s annual developer conference, I/O, approaches in May, it would only seem natural for Google to unveil new VR hardware, software, and 360-degree video support at the conference. Last year’s Google I/O conference gave us annoucements around Cardboard and the introduction of Google Expeditions and Google Jump cameras.
Making VR more accessible with consumers is all we care about here and its great to see Google continuing to push forward with their efforts.