Google's brand new vision for VR headsets.
Technology: App / Software
Technology: Cell Phone
Technology: Virtual Reality
Google just announced their new vision for VR hardware and it's called Daydream. Will it be better than Cardboard and superior to Oculus? Let's find out.
The first thing to understand is that Daydream isn't just a device like the Oculus Rift is. Instead, Google Daydream is a set of specifications for VR hardware. Hardware manufacturers will be able to use these specifications to create their own version of a Daydream compatible device.
It's really the same approach that Google takes to Android smartphones. They put out specifications that manufacturers follow to ensure compatibility with the Android operating system. With any luck, Google will also make their own branded Daydream headset much like they make their own Nexus branded Android phones.
This new project is a replacement for Google Cardboard. If you're not familiar with Cardboard it was an very inexpensive VR headset made out of actual cardboard. Pop a smartphone in it and hold it up to your head to experience VR worlds and games. Where Cardboard was more of a test, Daydream is a much bigger step into VR.
What's strange is that Daydream keeps the Cardboard system of requiring you to slide your smartphone into it. This seems like an odd choice and makes accessing VR a bit of a pain. Compared to a system like Oculus Rift where the display is built in, this feels very low tech. On the flip side, the cost should be a fraction of what an Oculus system costs since that also requires a computer to run it.
Another change from the Cardboard project (which is now officially dead) is that Daydream will strap onto your head (no more hand holding it) and it will have a small handheld controller to navigate VR worlds.
It's certainly an interesting direction compared to what other competitors in the VR space are doing and it seems like Google's approach will make VR worlds far more accessible to the masses. After all, we all seem to have smartphones these days. If you're a developer see what Google Daydream can offer you.
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