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Everything you need to know about Google's 'fabric covered' VR headest and platform- Daydream

Harshith Mallya
5th Oct 2016
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At Google I/O 2016 Google had announced Daydream, its platform for high-quality mobile Virtual Reality(VR). The goal for Daydream is to simplify the complexity behind virtual reality and make it portable, user friendly and easily accessible to the public.

Taking the stage at Google's 'Made by Google' event earlier on Tuesday, Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual Reality team at Google noted that they had been working with developers, smartphone companies and content creators to make the dream a reality—and they were ready to share updates across the three key elements of Daydream: smartphones, headsets and VR experiences.

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Pixel, the first Daydream-ready phone

To experience Daydream, users will need to pop a 'Daydream-ready' phone in the headset to start exploring. Powered by Android 7.0 Nougat, Daydream-ready phones are built with high-resolution displays, powerful mobile processors and high-fidelity sensors— which are tuned to support great VR experiences. Clay noted,

Google’s newest Pixel and Pixel XL are the first Daydream-ready phones, and there are a lot more on the way from leading Android smartphone makers.

Daydream View, the first Daydream-ready headset

Designed and developed by Google, Daydream View is the first Daydream-ready headset and controller.

Compared to other VR headests in the market like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Google claims that Daydream View is better alternative for two main reasons-

Comfort- Clay noted that the headset is made with soft, breathable fabric, inspired by the clothes we wear. Google also claims that it is 30 percent lighter than similar devices and is designed to fit over eyeglasses.

Ease of use. Just drop in your Daydream-ready phone and you’ll be ready to go. The phone and headset have an auto-alignment system so you don’t have to worry about cables or connectors.

Talking about the Daydream controller, Clay said,

A big part of what makes Daydream View special is the Daydream controller. This small yet powerful controller lets you interact with the virtual world the same way you do in the real world. It points where you point, and is packed with sensors to understand your movements and gestures.

Users can swing it like a bat or wave it like a wand. The controller also slides right inside the headset when not in use.

The headset is also estimated to be compatible with any Daydream-ready phones, irrespective of screen size. The headset comes in different colors—Slate, Snow and Crimson.

 

What experiences can one have with Daydream?

From YouTube videos to the magical world of Harry Potter- where you can cast spells and levitate objects- Clay noted that there are a wide range of experiences coming to Daydream:

'The best of Google'- Most of the popular Google apps will be introduced into VR. Through YouTube, users will be able to watch the entire library of videos on a virtual big screen and experience immersive videos from creators like Buzzfeed and CollegeHumor. Through Google Street View users will be able to see curated tours of more than 100 of the world’s most amazing places like the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal. Google Play Movies will make its movies and TV catalogues available on Daydream View, while Google Photos will be able to display photos in 360°.

Explore new worlds- Through partnerships with The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” by Warner Bros users will able to experience immersive stories and content.

Live events and streaming- Users will be able to experience sports, live events and also watch TV shows and movies through Hulu, HBO and Netflix.

Gaming- Gamers will get access to about a dosen gaming titles such as Need for Speed, EarthShape, Wonderglade, Gunjack 2, LEGO BrickHeadz etc.

Availability

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Daydream View is expected to launch in November at the Google Store and Google's retailer partners across five countries- USA, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia and it is expected to retail at $79. There is no current launch date for India at this stage.

In the U.S., Daydream View will be available for pre-order starting October 20 at Verizon and the Google Store. Clay noted,

In the coming months, we’ll be launching with more apps and partners, and over the coming years, we’ll continue our goal of bringing high-quality, mobile VR to everyone.
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