Google Is Working on Standalone AR Headset with Camera and Voice Input

Google’s AR headset is said to sport a camera and voice input.

Google is reportedly working on a standalone Augmented Reality (AR) headset according to a German news site WinFuture.

Codenamed Google A65, the search giant is said to be working with Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta to produce the headset. This is the same company that produced the Pixel C tablet.

The AR headset appears to be equipped with camera sensors and microphones. The latter would be used to operate the device using Google Assistant.

A custom Qualcomm quad core IoT chip called the QSC603 will power the device. The QSC603 could enable the device to support resolutions up to 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and 1080p and 1030p video capture. Additionally, it also supports 3D overlays and Gigabit wireless, Bluetooth 5.1, and GPS connectivity, and the Android Neural Networks API.

Google’s latest headset would also feature an additional chipset codenamed “SXR1.”

There’s no timeline yet for the completion of the project but according to WinFuture, it could still be awhile. Talks with partners only started earlier this year so a possible launch is not yet imminent. Of course, Apple is also reportedly in the early stages of developing a standalone headset. We’ll have to wait and see who gets to launch first.

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Mozilla Unveils Firefox Reality Browser for AR and VR

Mozilla now offers an alternative browser for Firefox, one that supports AR and VR headsets.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Mozilla announced a new version of its Firefox web browser. This browser, dubbed Firefox Reality, is specifically designed to be used with virtual and augmented reality headsets.

According to Mozilla, the new mixed reality browser has been built to tackle “new opportunities and challenges of browsing the immersive Web.” It is meant to be cross-platform, privacy-friendly and open source.

With the use of emerging mixed reality web standards, Firefox Reality allows consumers to use it without installing additional apps. And unlike others, the new browser will work on various devices and platforms.

Senior Vice President of Emerging Technologies Sean White explains the product in detail. “The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications. There shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another.”

As with their desktop browser, the VR-friendly browser is open source. The company has already released its source code and developer builds for different platforms on GitHub.

There is no news yet as to when the browser will be available to the public. What we do know for certain is that it will be available with HTC Vive Focus and other headsets supported by HTC’s Vive Wave VR platform at launch.

Mozilla will be releasing more updates for Firefox Reality in the coming weeks so stay tuned!