May 27, 2017

Google I/O 2017: New AR/VR Experiences

20 May 2017, 01:01 | Marlene Myers

"We asked, how can we take the best parts of smartphone VR and create a kind of device with an even better experience", said Google's vice president of virtual reality, Clay Bavor. Later in the year, the two devices will be receiving an update that makes them compatible with Daydream, Google's mobile virtual reality (VR) platform. The current collaboration would develop a standalone Daydream VR headset reference design to build more such products. They've show us what they can do with VR a year ago, launching the Daydream VR platform with matching VR-enabled phones in the Google Pixel and the Daydream View VR headset.

The new range of devices will use a tracking technology called "WordSense" that enables the headset to track its wearer's precise movements in space.

Google has revealed more details about Lens, an app that uses state-of-the art machine learning and artificial intelligence to make sense of what it "sees", at its annual Google I/O developer conference in California.

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Google also announced new AR functionalities for Chrome too, showing off a demo with e-commerce retailer Wayfair. The company intends to "deliver the most premium standalone headset and user experience", and says it'll have more information "soon". It's a simple 2D UI inside VR that allows you to look through your notifications and access some of the controls you can usually find on your notification shade.

If you've alienated all your local friends by making them watch you play video games, there's a new option for hanging out with other VR users. The company says there are now 8 phones with Daydream support, and more handsets will be added to the growing list from the likes of Motorola and Lenovo.

Tango is also one of the core technologies behind our new Visual Positioning Service (VPS), which helps devices quickly and accurately understand their location indoors. Google made it clear that this positional tracking works without users having to install any external sensors. VPS works today in partner museums and select Lowe's stores.

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