We knew VR would be making an appearance at this year’s Google I/O 2016 in some capacity and sure enough, Google announced a new VR platform for Android called Daydream. VR head Clay Bavor did the honors of unveiling Daydream on stage, which looks to bring high-quality VR experiences to mobile, specifically, devices running Android N.
Unlike Google Cardboard which could run on just about any Android smartphone, Daydream requires specific hardware including sensors, displays and processors to ensure the best possible VR experience. We’re talking OS-level performance enhancements that work with the hardware to deliver lower-latency times for better response times.
Although Google is supplying a reference design for the VR headset and motion controller, it’s up to hardware partners to bring Daydream-ready devices to market. So far, Samsung, Alcatel, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, and ASUS are the first partners looking to launch Daydream-ready devices later this year.
Image credit: The Verge
Google has built an entirely new interface for VR that comes with its own app launcher and access to a new Google Play for VR store to help find and download new content. While Google’s own apps like Play Movies, Photos, and Street View have been retooled for VR, YouTube itself is receiving special attention, built from the ground up with voice search and spatial audio for VR. Google is also working with big names like The New York Times, CNN, Hulu, HBO and IMAX, to make their apps VR-ready. Of course, game publishers like Ubisoft and EA are all chomping at the bit to be some of the first to introduce new VR titles to the platform.
Developers can start building VR experiences today as part of the latest Android N Developer Preview beta, with Daydream making its official debut later this fall.