Yesterday it was reported that Google could be planning to release a standalone VR headset at I/O this week, and now we may have further evidence in the form of a trademark filing at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Google has registered the term "WORLDSENSE," which we presume will be styled as either WorldSense or Worldsense. The filing, from 9th May 2017, states that it relates to computer hardware, computer software, and virtual reality headsets.

While computer software and hardware are both generic terms that could be applied to almost anything at I/O, what we're interested in is the mention of VR. This adds fuel to the fire that Google is preparing to announce a VR headset that doesn't require a phone to work, and could directly compete with its own Daydream headset. Google's current VR platform has so far suffered from a lack of compelling content and Daydream-ready phones to use it with, but things have been picking up recently with the release of some interesting games and films. If Google could consolidate whatever new it's planning with its Daydream and Project Tango efforts, it could help the company gain some traction in the space.

Yesterday's report talked up "inside-out tracking" as a key feature of the potential new headset, which would make it aware of your location in space without the need for any external hardware. WorldSense would be a rather apt name for such a technology, so my bet is that it has something to do with that.

A quick search for the term brings up an adtech start-up that was actually set up by two former Googlers, but we can be sure this new filing doesn't relate to that. Only time will tell what it really means, so keep an eye on our coverage from Google I/O over the next few days and hopefully we'll soon have something concrete to share with you.

  • Thanks:
  • Florian