VR at Google: Daydream!

VR at Google: Daydream!

One of the highlights at Google I/O 2016 is virtual reality (VR). At Google I/O, Google announced Daydream, their new virtual reality platform coming this fall to Android.

What is Daydream for? Daydream is smartphones, headsets/controllers, and apps. Daydream will be built into Android N, and you’ll be able to purchase the Daydream headset and controller for your Daydream ready phone, and download apps from the Google Play Store for Daydream.

The key with Daydream is having the hardware and software come together in a seamless way, while still being offered to the masses. Daydream won’t just be limited to Nexus devices, we should be seeing several Daydream ready phones by the end of the year from some of our favorite OEMs.

Now, what does Daydream ready refer to? Daydream ready means that the specific phone has to meet certain requirements, such as low persistence displays, high performance SoCs, and low latency, high quality sensors. When OEM’s produce a Daydream ready phone, they know that all apps built for Daydream will work great.

Android N is a huge part of Daydream. It ensures low latency, sustained performance, head tracking, and a smooth transition when system UI activities interact with Daydream.

One of the key features of Daydream is the controller. The Daydream controller is a simple, easy way to provide interaction with VR. It is precise and responsive in order to serve a variety of purposes for apps. App developers can customize what actions the buttons on the controller perform in their app.

Every Daydream user is required to have the Daydream viewer and controller. This is a far cry from Cardboard, but it should be all worth it, as it will give every user a much improved experience.

As far as apps go, there will be a custom version of the Google Play Store for Daydream. It will be available in an easy to use version on Daydream. If you don’t have your Daydream viewer with you at a specific time, you can open the VR Play Store on your phone and download apps for them to appear on your Daydream viewer home the next time you use it.

At the VR at Google session, they made a few announcements, such as:

  • Yi technology using their new 4K action camera to create a JUMP (360 video) camera (coming later this year)
  • A cinema grade IMAX JUMP camera is coming soon for Hollywood
  • Multiple Daydream ready phones will be available by the end of the year
  • Google will be one of the manufacturers making a Daydream headset, in addition to other OEMs

If you want to learn more about VR at Google, there are plenty more sessions on VR at I/O 2016!

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