We already knew that Google was investing pretty heavily in VR when they created their Cardboard platform and we had previously heard some whispers in the Internet ether about a full first-party solution. Now its all finally come to fruition in the form of Daydream, Google’s very own VR eco-system to compete with Oculus and Samsung.
Daydream wants to be a mobile VR powerhouse
At Google I/O 2016 they pulled off the veil from their newest project, Daydream, that’ll be based on Android N. They want to make VR accessible to everyone and something easier to get into. Cardboard was a rousing success for them, having shipped more than 5 million cardboard headsets and plenty of immersive apps to take advantage of virtual reality.
Daydream is more than a set of first-party devices, but there are also specifications that ensure that anyone wishing to make VR hardware are “Daydream-ready” and capable of the kinds of experiences Google wants. That means they’ll have to meet specific framerate targets and and deliver below 20ms of motion to photon latency in order to qualify. Those types of unified standards are absolutely needed in this market.
The reference design that they showed off looks strikingly like the Oculus Rift and has a remote/controller that is also quite similar. The controller will contain orientation sensors to help provide spatial tracking so you can interact with your virtual worlds.
To better get people interested in VR, they’re looking at redesigning some of their common apps to be more approachable with a headset on. YouTube, as well, is being remade from the ground-up with VR and 360-degree content in mind. They’ve also secured the partnership of CCP Games, nGames, EA, Ubisoft and plenty more to bring new mobile-focused, VR experiences.
Daydream will be launching in the Fall and will only be compatible with those devices that have the necessary sensors on-board to provide motion control and tracking. It’ll also be limited to Android N and beyond.