According to exclusive paywalled reports in The Information, Google is raising the bar on chip requirements for Android devices, and may even design its own chips. Google has apparently already done some preliminary design work on the chips, and is now looking at potential hardware partners. The Information‘s takeaway on this is: “In its effort to improve the Android phone experience for consumers, Google is asking hardware makers to boost components related to cameras, sensors and memory built into the main processor.”
Other analysis of the same reports in Ars Technica and elsewhere indicates that virtual reality and augmented reality may be the targets for the new chip capabilities, as well as simple elimination of performance bottlenecks. Given the debut of VR headsets and Microsoft’s own experimentation in this area, as well as the likes of Google Street View, it would be no suprise if Google was prioritizing this area. It also suggests that Google is still prioritizing front-end user experience over back-end improvements in, for instance, chips for its server farms.
This may not mean much for the humble e-reading experience, but VR-enhanced e-books could be one future development – as well, of course, as simply faster and more capable smartphones and tablets.