Is an 'Android VR' announcement imminent?


Our ears perked up when we heard rumours flying around last week about a potential Android VR announcement at Google's I/O conference, which runs from 18 - 20 May.

An eagle-eyed user on VR forum site VR Talk had posted that they had spotted an interesting change in the release of Unreal Engine 4.12 Preview 3: “UE-30404 Need to integrate engine changes in support of AndroidVR plugin to 4.12”.

While it could simply be a plugin, the user surmised, "it seems more likely that it is an entire operating system for VR".

The next day, entrepreneur in residence at venture capital company betaworks, Peter Rojas, tweeted that Android VR would "definitely" be announced this week and that it would most likely be a standalone headset less powerful than HTC's Vive or the Oculus Rift. 

He later tweeted that it was possible Google's plans have changed or that they're pursuing multiple strategies, "but what I shared is from people who would know." 

Reports have been flying around in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times that Google is developing a standalone headset but also working on another device that would require a smartphone, but support multiple brands. 

Internally, Google has been working on Project Tango, which is its plans to map interiors of buildings in 3D down to a resolutuion of a few inches, according to Bloomberg. This might be something it'll also expand on in this week's conference; we'll just have to wait and see.

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