Cardboard cut out? 'Android VR' hinted just before Google IO 2016

Android VR headset news
Android VR headset news

Google Cardboard may have a more serious VR headset successor – and it appears to be called Android VR, according to software development tool release notes.

The unmistakable phrase "Fix!...AndroidVR plugin to 4.12" is buried within the otherwise normal release notes for Unreal Engine 4.12 Preview 3, as spotted by 9to5Google.

As exciting as this VR-enthusiast news is right now, it may have just spoiled one of the biggest Google IO 2016 surprises ahead of next week's annual conference.

So try to act surprised if Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveils an Android-integrated virtual reality platform during the May 18 keynote in Mountain View.

More Android VR hints

This isn't the first time we've heard that Google is working on a VR follow-up to Google Cardboard. Virtual reality is certainly getting a real-life push at the company.

In fact, Google IO conference Day 2 is scheduled to begin with a session called "VR at Google," almost exactly two years since Google Cardboard was announced.

It might be time for a successor like Google Cardboard 2, or the company could fulfill our expectations for a more grown-up standalone VR headset, like the one we heard about back in February.

Google is also expected to unveil a Lenovo-made Project Tango phone with Augmented Reality soon, so both VR and AR hardware are likely to be the talk of the show in Mountain View next week.

Matt Swider