Google is looking into designing its own processors in order to incorporate features such as virtual reality into smartphones, according to a report on The Information.
The largest internet search company has also reportedly been in talks with chip manufacturers to provide components that could handle more demanding tasks like virtual and augmented reality which are typically very power intensive.
The new chips will be designed to complement future features in Android that will be incorporated into the mobile operating system in the next few years.
Google has reportedly already demonstrated several chip designs, but talks are said to be at an early stage, with actual manufacturing still some way off.
If the company’s designs come to fruition, the components could be used in its line of Nexus phones, Google’s cheaper answer to the iPhone.
In September, the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P were announced less than one week after the release of Apple’s iPhone 6S.
With competition between the two companies as fierce as ever, innovative features such as virtual reality could help to persuade some of the Apple crowd to make the switch to Android.
In addition, Google’s design focus extends to the camera's image processor, with the report stating that the company wanted a camera chip that could "scan the environment and push images to Google’s cloud-based systems for analysis."
This would be accompanied by an array of sensors so that the phone could collect detailed information about its surroundings, including one that would be able to determine distances.
Google has already made some inroads into virtual reality on smartphones with its ‘Cardboard’ platform which allows a range of models to be incorporated into a basic virtual-reality platform.
It has also developed Google Glass, a pair of glasses with a screen inside one of the lenses that can project an augmented-reality display into the user's field of vision.
Today, the company announced that it would begin adding virtual reality videos to YouTube.