Google's Daydream VR breaks free of the smartphone with new standalone headset

Posted January 10, 2018

It feels like Google's announcement of standalone Daydream VR headsets from partners HTC and Lenovo came an eternity ago, and while the former hardware maker pulled out of the high-profile alliance to focus on its own immersive products, the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream is official and (almost) fully detailed at last.

Aside from being an all-in-one Daydream VR setup with a motion controller, Lenovo's Mirage Solo has WorldSense.

Complementing the Mirage Solo is a wireless Daydream controller.

Along with the standalone VR headset, Lenovo also unveiled the Mirage Camera. The headset itself houses A Qualcomm 835 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard memory, a seven-hour battery, and a 2560 x 1440 LCD screen. The headset is the first to use Google's WorldSense technology, which enables the headset to track where you are in a room without using external sensors. The Mirage Camera is powered by a Snapdragon 626 processor and helps capture your world in virtual reality, and can wirelessly upload your VR content to share with others via Google Photos and YouTube (it supports the new VR180 video format).

YI Technology (YI), the leading provider of advanced, intelligent imaging technologies, in collaboration with Google's Virtual Reality (VR) team, announced details of its YI Horizon VR180 Camera. The lightweight design is one of the Mirage Camera's big strengths, alongside dual 13MP fisheye lenses, built-in Wi-Fi and optional LTE connectivity. There's also some breathable padding in areas where the headset touches the skin, though it remains to be seen how fast that will become a grime depository.

Google's Daydream VR breaks free of the smartphone with new standalone headset
Google's Daydream VR breaks free of the smartphone with new standalone headset

Google's solution is most akin to a point-and-shoot camera.

And then there's the Mirage Camera. Lenovo meanwhile promised to introduce "an impressivesuite of apps that showcase the expanded Daydream ecosystem closer to the headset's availability".

Everything comes with a price, and the Mirage Solo is expect to come in under $400 (about £300, AU$500).

Moving around the device, one side plays host to a power button and a microSD slot that's handy for loading VR180 videos captured by the Lenovo Mirage Camera. VR180 cameras capture photos and video in 3D, but can be viewed and shared in either 2D or 3D. Speaking of launch, it's slated for Q2 2018, and it is going to be available in the same Moonlight White color. Because it's integrated into the device, pixels are nearly indiscernible to the degree that we didn't find ourselves trying to readjust the headset to get a better look. LG is also slated to release a camera later this year. Running Android 7.0 Nougat and Google's Daydream OS.