Yesterday at the much anticipated Made by Google event, via a live stream Google finally announced Daydream View, their new $79 VR headset. This forms part of Google’s new hardware positioning, Made by Google, which offers phones, virtual reality and streaming devices.
The Google Daydream VR headset can be looked at as the natural evolution of Google Cardboard, or Cardboard ‘growing up’. It’s a platform dedicated to VR which uses a new headset that works with specific ‘Daydream-ready’ phones. This is an exciting step and shows a serious commitment to VR from one of the world’s biggest tech companies.
“We believe VR will impact how we explore, how we work, how we play, how we learn.” Clay Bavor, VR Lead, Google
Daydream-ready phones are built to interface with the Daydream headset on a hardware level. The first of these will be Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL devices. This hardware level connection, rather than just being a holder for a phone, is crucial and means that Google will be on the same level as Samsung and Oculus with their Gear VR headsets.
The ability of the phone to talk to the headset and become one unit is what is needed to allow the device to deliver VR comfortably. Technically this is because the phone can deliver content to the eyes within 20ms of the head being moved – i.e. there is no perceived lag, therefore perfect comfort, something Google Cardboard could never have.
The headset itself is a brilliant bit of design, made from a woven grey material (with 2 additional colours) that is both 30% lighter from similar devices and flexible, it looks very comfortable, and is breathable, meaning less fogging that other headsets suffer from.
Supplied with the headset is a neat controller with a touchpad on it that operates much like the new apple TV remote or wii controller, actually having its position detected. To us this is more natural/comfortable than the touchpad on the side of a Gear VR headset.
Google are planning to launch with a number of established partners, covering entertainment, education, games, VR documentaries and journalism. These VR-capable apps include but not limited to, YouTube, the New York Times, Netflix, Hulu CNN, HBO, the NBA, and MLB. There are also a number of undisclosed game titles that will be available. This headset clearly shows Google’s serious commitment to VR.
It’s also going to be the perfect bridge platform to getting more users immersed in the metaverse!