Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi will help build Facebook’s first standalone virtual reality headset

Facebook's VP of Virtual Reality Hugo Barra.

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Facebook’s VP of Virtual Reality Hugo Barra.
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David Becker/Stringer

Facebook is partnering with Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi, whose hardware team will build the former company’s first standalone virtual reality (VR) headset, the Oculus Go (we first saw the news via CNBC).

One of the people responsible for this partnership is Hugo Barra, a former Google executive who more recently worked at Xiaomi before being snatched up by Facebook to lead the social network giant’s VR efforts last year.

“We’re working with Xiaomi as our hardware partner for the global launch of Oculus Go,” the company wrote in a blog post featuring both Barra and Xiaomi’s vice president Thomas Tang.

The Mi VR and Oculus Go headsets.

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The Mi VR and Oculus Go headsets.
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Oculus

But the collaboration between the two doesn’t stop there, as Xiaomi will use the Oculus Go as the foundation for the Mi VR, a second standalone headset designed specifically for the Chinese market.

The two will partner up with chip manufacturer Qualcomm, whose Snapdragon 821 will power up the Mi VR. The chip was first deployed in high-end smartphones at the end of 2016, but despite its relatively old age it may serve its purpose just well.

Facebook VP of VR Hugo Barra, Qualcomm Incorporated President Cristiano Amon, and Xiaomi VP Thomas Tang at CES 2018.

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Facebook VP of VR Hugo Barra, Qualcomm Incorporated President Cristiano Amon, and Xiaomi VP Thomas Tang at CES 2018.
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Oculus

“We’ve worked closely with Qualcomm to deliver the highest possible level of performance to meet the high computing demands of the standalone VR product category,” the post reads.

There are no finalised launch dates as of yet, but we should expect the Oculus Go to go on sale for $200 (£148) some time over the coming weeks or months.