Today at its #madebygoogle event in San Francisco, Google finally unveiled its Daydream View VR headset. It looks quite a bit different than current VR headsets on the market for two very specific reasons. Google says VR needs to be comfortable in order to be used, so the headset weighs only 200g thanks to its foam construction. In addition to its lightweight size, the headset is fabric-wrapped and features velcro to make getting in and out of the headset much easier. All this for $79 and shipping starting in November.
With the goal of making VR easy to use, there are some interesting features included in Daydream View, too. When you place an unlocked Pixel phone in the front panel, an NFC chip launches Daydream. The elastic loop on top also triggers your phone to detect its position so it can center the image thanks to a pair of rubber nubs on the face of the device. The hinges of the device are also designed to accommodate any phone that supports the Daydream platform.
The Daydream controller that ships with the headset is simple too, as it features just a handful of buttons. There are a home and menu button, a clickable trackpad, and volume buttons on one side of the remote. A small sensor inside can detect motion but it’s not as capable as the sensors in something like the HTC Vive, so it can’t pinpoint your absolute position in a space. Instead, the controller can sense which way it’s facing and loosely follow the movement of your hand. Google’s made it easy to stow the controller while it’s not in use through a little groove in the headset itself.
Pre-orders for Daydream View start on October 20th on the Google Store in the US, or you can purchase them in early November at Best Buy, Verizon, or the Google Store. At launch, only the slate color will be available, but Google announced two additional colors called Snow and Crimson for a later date. Launch countries for the device include the US, Canada, Germany, Australia, and the UK.