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Android Displays Google Input Devices Upgrades Games Hardware

Report: Google Will Go In Big For VR Hardware This Year 51

The Financial Times reports that Google isn't going to let the VR hardware wars fall to the likes of Samsung and Oculus; instead, it's working on a (cardboard-free) VR headset of its own, to be released in conjunction with Android VR software intended not only to make Android more VR friendly in general but specifically to help developers reduce nausea-inducing lag. The report doesn't quite come out of the blue, considering that Google has shipped more than 5 million of its own Cardboard viewer already, and has several projects dealing with VR infrastructure, either directly (like Jump) or indrectly (like Project Tango). Google (or Alphabet) has proven itself a hardware behemoth, not just the "search giant" it's so often called in news stories, and of late seems to be more interested in making its footprint in hardware a bit firmer.
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Report: Google Will Go In Big For VR Hardware This Year

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    You mean like the way they invested heavily in Glass, and how a year later, we are all wearing them?

    • Glass didn't have retail competitors, and anyone who thinks it's gone forever is naive. At worst, it'll be integrated into the VR pipeline (the obvious endstate of the current VR movement is a Glass-like device that can handle both VR and AR).
  • Maybe not so much (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If you think of a company as being from what it derives its revenue, Google is still an advertising company.

    Its a real stretch, to describe them as a hardware "behemoth". All they made is:

    - Nexus 4/5/6/7
    - Nexus Q (cancelled)
    - Glass (arguably cancelled, but at least still in test)
    - Chromecast
    - Chromebook Pixel
    - Pixel C
    - Car (still in test, and will be for years)

    Of those , Chromecast is probably the only large seller, maybe Nexus devices depending on what your threshold level is for "large" sales.

    Theres other

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Is your list only meant to include consumer products?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't think you realise how much hardware android deals in now a days with all the companies they're acquiring.

      From military hardware to aviation, drones, Bluetooth beacons and devices, "reinventing" sim cards, data centre design, home automation and cameras. Probably moving in on WiFi APs in the next few years...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Other than data centre hardware, which they absolutely do a lot of, but isn't consumer facing, things that customers can get their hands on like Nest, Boston Dynamics, are acquisitions.

        OnHub Wi-if seems to be 3rd party branded, not Google branded (so it feels a bit more like say, "Android with Google" than say Nexus)

        So there's a lot of research/internal only/work with 3rd party hardware involvement, but the list of Google branded hardware is pretty short.

  • by JMZero ( 449047 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @08:18PM (#51459469) Homepage

    Right now, comments on this article are 100% Anonymous Cowards, who all agree this is dumb and won't go anwhere. And that's pretty much par for the course here - people dumping on random consumer tech, websites, every company in software, VR, robotics, AI, self-driving cars.

    I think VR is going to be big. We bought an Oculus DK2 a while back, and people are blown away by it, despite it being flakey, being a generation behind in hardware, and there being essentially no professional content.

    Maybe I'm wrong and VR won't go anywhere, but it's sad that Slashdot has become so blase about technology and the future. There's plenty of places VR could go and plenty of things you could do with it that are at least potentially exciting. But nobody is imagining any of that, they're thinking "meh, I'm happy playing normal FPS games on my normal monitor", "this didn't work before, so it won't work now", and "nobody wants to wear goggles on their head".

    • by Anonymous Coward

      An interesting thing to do is compare the threads for the same stories when they show up on both /. and HN. You'd be surprised (as you'll see) how badly /. has become a sad community of luddites. As well, when back in the hey days of this venerable site, it seemed you could ask any sort of technical question even off topic and someone would be around with knowledge to answer if not quite a few. It seems that crowd has largely moved on to other sites. What's left is a bunch of non-technical systemd hating b

    • nobody wants to wear goggles on their head

      This is, nobody does want to wear goggles on their head. Friend of mine has a 3D TV. We sat there and watched a 3D movie on it once. That was it. Never bothered again. Not worth the stupid headgear, and that was only the passive polarised things.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      VR is hugely problematic in terms of extended use. Sure it's a thrill for the first time and the first few hours but what happens on day three after say 12 hours of use, how long can people keep going before it becomes psychological undesirable and they just stop and put it on a shelf and loathe the idea of taking it down ie negative reinforcement due to psychological stresses.

      Now from the Android perspective VR becomes IR and not infra-red but immersive reality, extended a smart phone into a massive in

      • "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."

        Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century Fox, 1946

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          You are completely ignoring psychological comfort. Imagine how long a typical couch potato would be willing to watch an idiot box if they had to stand up to do it or if they had to continually twist and flex their neck or it caused nausea. I write this from a lazy boy rocker recliner with a customised over bed table to hold my desktop, in the lounge with a nice view out the window and a big screen TV. Yeah, comfort counts and VR doesn't really cut it, in those stakes but hell, I don't care either way. You

    • Right now, comments on this article are 100% Anonymous Cowards, who all agree this is dumb and won't go anwhere. And that's pretty much par for the course here - people dumping on random consumer tech, websites, every company in software, VR, robotics, AI, self-driving cars.

      I think VR is going to be big.

      While I sort of agree that Slashdot has a fair number of posters who simply hate everything new, let us not forget that not everything new is automatically wonderful.

      But now that we are past that, I'm not seeing 3D as becoming really widely adopted until the delivery method goes past the helmet on the head paradigm. I'm seeing a direct immersion, probably using brain implants, or some way of acceptably stimulating the optic nerve (which by the way will be a boon for the blind) Sit back in the chair or co

    • Right now, comments on this article are 100% Anonymous Cowards, who all agree this is dumb and won't go anwhere

      Looking back at least one of them wasn't.

      And that's pretty much par for the course here - people dumping on random consumer tech, websites, every company in software, VR, robotics, AI, self-driving cars.

      For all I know those doing the dumping have a point or maybe they don't but it doesn't matter because the assumption made is dumping must be bad or there can be nothing systemically wrong with the current market resulting in reflection of disproportionately negative opinions.

      I think VR is going to be big. We bought an Oculus DK2 a while back, and people are blown away by it, despite it being flakey, being a generation behind in hardware, and there being essentially no professional content.

      Having tried at a friends it IS a lot of fun. The experience was enough to preorder CV1 where I likely would not have been willing to shell out close to $700 otherwise.

      I see these very same 3D/f

      • by JMZero ( 449047 )

        For all I know those doing the dumping have a point or maybe they don't but it doesn't matter because the assumption made is dumping must be bad or there can be nothing systemically wrong with the current market resulting in reflection of disproportionately negative opinions

        Yeah, sure. I guess I just miss the time when the balance was a little more optimistic. If 2003 Slashdot was discussing VR, you'd have people talking about cool things they wanted to try, or speculating about how they could do even more

    • VR will be totally awesome once someone actually starts producing eyetaps so that we can reasonably do reality overlay/augmented reality in meatspace, and not in a special cave. VR goggles you can't see through are a total non-starter for me.

  • by Daniel Matthews ( 4112743 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @09:11PM (#51459649)
    While nausea caused by VR has genetics as a significant factor ( a "if your vision does not match your inner ear you may have eaten something bad and should probably vomit it back up" type survival trait) it cannot be rolled out universally as a teaching aid because to do so would disadvantage the significant numbers of people who are born with a sensitivity to VR induced nausea syndrome.

    Better invest in some new a better drugs guys, because the current anti nausea drugs don't work well and make you dumber.
    • You can develop "VR legs," and developers will get better at not inducing nausea. I'd imagine educational material would be some of the mildest stuff, to avoid potentially alienating some students.
  • Really need the content. I have an Oculus DK1 and a Cardboard viewer too - I really, really want to be a fan but there's only so many roller coasters and dinosaur parks I need to see.

    You could do great things even now with it - there's some interesting solar system exploration apps for example. Too few people are actually doing this though, and my viewers more or less sit in a cupboard doing nothing. The push needs to be towards applications (including games yes, but other stuff too) and not just the har
  • Nobody has demonstrated a single game or application for VR which could be described as a killer. Something that has mainstream appeal and is sufficiently compelling for large quantities of people to spend cash to play it. And not just at launch either when the hype overrules reason, but sustainable sales over time to drive the tech forward.

    I'm sure VR could utterly awesome for flight sims, or Arma IV or whatever when it appears but they're not mainstream games. Where is the mainstream game (or app) that

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