The technologies of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are linked, but the devices are still usually separate.
VR headsets like Oculus Rift provide entirely-virtual worlds for gaming, video and other experiences, while AR headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens are more like high-tech goggles, projecting digital content onto the real world around their wearer.
One device is capable of both, mind: smartphones can deliver a VR experience when fitted inside a Google Cardboard or Gear VR headset, and an AR experience when using their cameras and screens to, say, chase Pokemon in the real world.
Anyway, this is a long introduction to the report this weekend that Google is working on a combined AR and VR headset, having scrapped plans for a purely-VR device of its own.
“Sources said the headset currently in development will not require a computer or phone to power it. While it does have a screen, it will offer features more in line with augmented reality systems than existing VR headsets,” reported Engadget.
Google does already have experience with AR technology, of course: its Glass device, which was retired in early 2015 (pictured above).