Nimish SawantOct 05, 2016 01:15:28 IST
Back in Google I/O this year, Sundar Pichai had introduced the Daydream VR platform. At the #MadeByGoogle event, Google unveiled Daydream View, the first VR headset which will be compatible with the Daydream VR platform supported handsets. At the moment only Google Pixel/PixelXL phones support Daydream VR platform, but more devices are expected to be added to this list. Along with the Daydream View VR headset, a companion controller was also released.
The Daydream View VR headset will start selling in November at $79 (approx Rs 5300). The Daydream View will be up for pre-order in the US from 20 October and it will go on sale on Best Buy, Verizon and the Google Store in the US. It is also expected to launch in Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia in early November. India launch date is not known.
The first thing that strikes you about the Daydream View is the design. Unlike most plastic-made VR headsets that we have seen off late, the View is made of foam and soft washable fabric. The phone can be placed by opening the front flap of the headset and then the flap can be latched on top of the headset using an elastic loop. There is an adjustable hinge which lets you accommodate phones of different thicknesses inside it. It weighs around 220 grams which is lighter than the GearVR headset. The portion which will be in touch with your skin is nicely cushioned and is washable.
According to Google, even if you put in an unlocked phone inside the Daydream View headset, an NFC chip will tell the phone to launch Daydream VR app. After you have latched the phone using the elastic loop on top, the eye piece will help the headset decide the positioning of the phone and ensure that things are centre aligned. So as a user, you have less work to do getting things aligned.
The Daydream View will come in three colours: Slate, Snow and Crimson.
The other half of the headset is the Daydream controller, which was shown as a sketch back in Google I/O. The controller looks like the air remote we see on smart TVs, and it has a circular patch which is clickable on the top and in the centre there are two buttons - one Home and the other Menu button. There are volume buttons on the side and it houses sensors to detect motion. The controller can be slid inside the View's flap when it is not in use.
VR supported apps
Google showcased a VR game featuring JK Rowling's Harry Potter universe with a tie up with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them where you can assume the role of a wizard with the controller acting as a wand. Another game that will be available on launch includes Gunjack 2.
The Daydream app will also support Google apps such as Street View, Google Play Movies, YouTube 360 videos along with apps such as New York Times VR app, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and many more. Ordinary videos from these apps will be projected on a virtual screen which mimics a personal theatre. At launch, Daydream will have around 50 partners with more to be added in the near future. The Street View app will have tours of around 150 landmarks such as the Taj Mahal, Pyramids of Egypt and so on. There is also a virtual planetarium which has been created with Star Chart app, to add an educational edge to the Daydream platform.
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