Daydream VR is exciting. It’s a new platform for VR built into Android that delivers immersive experiences through advanced sensors and 3D motion controls. Despite it sounding like something that today’s software is already capable of handling alone, it’s going to be the hardware that has to do a lot of the heavy lifting.
And that’s why phones will have to be Daydream-certified in order to support Daydream VR. Google wants to ensure a phone using Daydream has all the necessary components it needs in order to deliver a fluid experience:
- High density, low latency displays
- Powerful chipsets (Snapdragon 820 is the baseline example) and 4GB of RAM
- Advanced motion sensors beyond the typical gyroscope
Most phones today can’t quite meet all these conditions, and as such Google can’t guarantee (and doesn’t even think) that any existing phone will be Daydream-certified. Even Google’s own Nexus 6P can’t, and that’s probably why they’re planning to make a refreshed version for 2016. It’s especially heartbreaking when you consider that developers are using current hardware to develop for Daydream VR.
There’s always the slim possibility that some of the top devices are already equipped, though (Galaxy S7, HTC 10 or LG G5, we hope?) will make it onto the list, so we’re holding out hope. If nothing else, we expect that the development community will find some way to make sure these “uncertified” devices can enjoy Daydream VR apps and games with a little bit of hacking.