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



Mobile virtual reality isn’t just about smartphones anymore.

Today, Lenovo unveiled the Mirage Solo, the first standalone virtual reality headset for Google Daydream platform.

The headset marks a major milestone for Google’s virtual reality efforts as it’s the first wireless headset that doesn’t depend on a Daydream-compatible smartphone to use, giving it the potential to reach a much wider audience than the Daydream View headsets.  



The Mirage Solo also promises a much higher quality virtual reality experience than what you’d get with a smartphone-enabled headset. 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.

Lenovo’s Mirage Solo headset.

“It’s based on years of investment in simultaneous localization and mapping, and it enables PC-quality positional tracking on a mobile device without the need for any additional external sensors. ” Google’s VP of VR and AR Clay Bavor said in a statement.

All that will come at a cost, though. Though Lenovo hasn’t revealed a price for the Mirage Solo yet – it’s expected to go on sale sometime in the second quarter of 2018 –  the price will likely be significantly higher than the $99 Daydream View.

To go with the Mirage Solo, Lenovo also announced a new virtual reality camera, the Mirage Camera. Unlike most VR cameras, which film a full 360-degree view, the Mirage only captures a 180-degree view.

Lenovo's Mirage Camera, a VR camera that captures a 180-degree view of your surroundings.

Lenovo’s Mirage Camera, a VR camera that captures a 180-degree view of your surroundings.

Google says this makes filming for VR much more approachable for beginners, since they don’t have to plan out a full 360-degree shot. 

“With VR180 cameras, you just point and shoot to take crisp, three-dimensional photos and videos of the world in wide angle, ultra HD 4K resolution. The resulting imagery is far more immersive than what you get with a traditional camera,” Bavor says.

Lenovo’s Mirage camera will be available in the spring, along with a camera from Yi Technology, the Yi Horizon. LG also plans to release a 180-degree camera “later this year.”

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