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This is Google’s new VR headset reference design, hardware to start arriving in the fall

TechCrunch TechCrunch 18/05/2016 Brian Heater

In what’s become the Google I/O defining moment, the company kicked off the 2012 event with a series of skydivers, bikers, and climbers to debut the hot newness that was Project Glass (hindsight, etc.). Two years later, Google went all Oprah on everyone and sent I/O attendees home with Cardboard headsets of their very own – this was, mind you, back in the days before the system came free with the daily newspaper.

Those two projects have, obviously, been met with differing levels of success, but one thing is for certain: Google is really committed to changing our perceptions by way of attaching screens to our faces.

As anticipated, this year’s event marks the software giant’s next big step into that world with a VR headset of its very own. Along with a platform called “Daydream” and a VR mode for the newly unveiled Android N, the company show off the headset we’ve been hearing so much about of late — or at least a reference design for third-party developers. The company showed off a sketch of a headset and a controller for third hardware developers.

There’s not much in the way of info at the moment, but the company announced that there are “several” devices currently in the pipeline, with the first units arriving in the fall. According to Google, the specs detail things like optics and comfort — all of the sorts of details one would anticipate. The company also anticipates that the new hardware will improve the VR experience over the entry level Cardboard, making it possible to experience the system for longer periods

As for the controller, it’s an extremely simple ovular design featuring a few buttons and a clickable, swipable touchpad. Inside is an orientation sensor, allowing for more immersive controls. The proverbial “magic” that Google talked up on stage.

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