Google believes that VR should be “mobile, approachable, and for everyone.” At the Google I/O developers’ conference, Google announced their next big move for VR: Daydream. Rather than being a Google-made device, Daydream is an open platform for high-quality mobile VR.
The Daydream platform consists of the following components:
- Smartphone hardware specifications to ensure high frame rate and high resolution. Smartphones that meet these specs will be considered “Daydream-ready.”
- Controller: a wand-like controller with orientation sensors. Looks somewhat like Playstation Move, but doesn’t require an external camera to track its motion.
- Apps: VR apps will appear in their own space in the smartphone, called Daydream Home. From there, you will be able to view VR videos and launch VR apps.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. For me, Gear VR is noticeably better than Google Cardboard, but Gear VR has thus far been limited to compatibility with the latest flagship Samsung phones. It would be great if there was a Gear VR clone that works with any Android phone, and I think that’s exactly what Daydream seeks to do.
BTW, watching the video, I did not see evidence of positional tracking, so I would not expect that.
Daydream headsets and smartphones will be available Fall of 2016.