Google is developing a "Nexus-style" version of its Cardboard virtual reality product, according to The Financial Times, that will feature improved sensors and lenses.
The Times reports that Google's upcoming gadget will be similar to Samsung's Gear VR headset but will support more smartphones. Google's headset is likely to be made of plastic and will derive "most of its processing power" from phones.
The new headset may be announced at Google I/O in May, when the company is also expected to introduce a version of Android that will enable developers to add include VR features in their apps. Google Cardboard, which claims more than 5 million users, uses a specialized app to deliver VR content.
Virtual reality was a major theme at CES in Las Vegas last month, and heavyweights such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and CableLabs are pursuing the space aggressively. Goldman Sachs predicts that the VR market will be worth $80 billion by 2025, with video entertainment accounting for $3.2 billion of that sum.
Google and Samsung aren't the only companies in the smartphone space looking at virtual reality. HTC too is planning to release its Vive VR headset in the coming months, and Apple too has been rumored to be investing in possible VR technology. During Apple's most recent quarterly conference call with investors, CEO Tim Cook said the virtual reality is not "a niche" and "has some interesting applications."
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As Google Cardboard reaches 5M users, virtual reality seen as major growth area