Google Daydream: Here's everything we know about Google's upcoming VR platform

Google’s got a lot in store for us at an event at 9:30 PM tonight, not least of which is the official debut of their Daydream platform.


Google’s got a lot in store for us at an event at 9:30 PM tonight, not least of which is the official debut of their Daydream platform.

Daydream was announced at Google I/O, but we never saw much else from that announcement. Google did, eventually, release a developer kit for the platform and teased some designs for the headset.

 Google Daydream: Heres everything we know about Googles upcoming VR platform

Google's Daydream VR controller.

The information that we’ve gleaned from various sources, some revealed by Google, suggests that Daydream is far more than a plain ol’ VR headset and controller. Google’s plan with Daydream is to offer a VR platform, a VR ecosystem of sorts. With Daydream, Google wants a platform where the hardware, software, viewers and controllers are all working “in concert,” says Clay Bavor the head of Google’s VR platform.

Google Daydream VR Virtual Reality Android N Google IO 2016 (5)

Daydream partners

To start with, Android has been optimised to support additional sensors, graphics and everything else that would be required to make a great VR experience on a phone. Next up is the headset, but we don’t know much about it except that it’ll cost $79 (around Rs 5,300) and that your phone needs to be plugged into the device. As with Samsung’s Gear VR, we expect that the headset will house additional sensors to further the VR experience.

Daydream Controller VR Google IO 2016

The third piece in the Daydream platform is a controller. Google has made the controller a mandatory part of the Daydream kit (we assume that it’ll be included with the $79 headset) and this controller will support three-axis motion controls. The controller is designed to be used in a VR environment and Google’s renders suggest that it’ll have a touch-sensitive surface as well as two buttons.

Google Daydream VR Virtual Reality Android N Google IO 2016 (1)

The final piece of the platform is the developer ecosystem. We’ve not heard much about this either, but Google wants developers to have a standard VR platform to work with and that’s exactly what it’s expected to offer them with Daydream. We might also see the hardware, the headset and controller, open up to third-parties.

Google Daydream VR Virtual Reality Android N Google IO 2016 (3)

J.P. Gownder, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester suggests that, “Daydream is a critical driver for the mobile VR ecosystem. Forrester predicts that 37.9 million mobile VR units (i.e. smartphone-based) will be in use in the US market by 2020, and Daydream (along with Samsung Gear VR) is a key player in this market. Google needs to release tools to drive down the cost of developing VR experiences, announce shipment dates for Daydream-enabled phones, and announce hardware add-ons for viewing content.”

As far as Daydream is concerned, that’s about it. Anything else is just speculation.

We’ll be covering Google’s announcements live, so don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for detailed coverage of the event.


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