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Google has unveiled Daydream – its latest attempt at bringing VR to mobile devices. Google has also announced both the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone will be the among the first handsets to be Daydream ready.
Unlike the Google Cardboard VR headset, which acted as an introduction to VR with a low cost and low smartphone capability requirements, Daydream seeks to provide higher-quality experiences to Android Nougat users.
In a blog post, Clay Bavor, VP of Virtual Reality at Google, said: “Our goal for Daydream is to simplify the complexity behind virtual reality. It should be mobile so you can easily carry it with you, and it should be friendly and accessible so everyone can enjoy using it. We’ve been working with developers, smartphone companies and content creators to make the dream a reality — and now, we’re excited to share updates across the three key elements of Daydream: smartphones, headsets and VR experiences. Pixel, the first Daydream-ready phones With Daydream, you simply pop a Daydream-ready phone in the headset to start exploring. Powered by Android 7.0 Nougat, Daydream-ready phones are built with high-resolution displays, powerful mobile processors and high-fidelity sensors—all tuned to support great VR experiences.”
“Google’s newest Pixel and Pixel XL are the first Daydream-ready phones, and there are a lot more on the way from leading Android smartphone makers. Daydream View, the first Daydream-ready headset and controller Today, we’re announcing Daydream View. Designed and developed by Google, it’s the first Daydream-ready headset and controller.”
Daydream will be available in 5 countries (US, UK, Germany, Canada and Australia) from November. It will retail for €69 in Europe and £69 in the UK.
Commenting on the news, George Jijiashvili, a VR and Wearables analyst at CCS Insight, said: “Daydream is reliant on devices running Android N together with the appropriate set of specifications. Given the fragmentation that exists with different versions of Android, this is likely to limit the addressable market for the VR platform.”
“The Daydream platform underlines Google’s commitment to virtual reality and 360-degree content as major focus areas. It has cleverly extended support across various Google assets and included numerous partnerships with key VR content providers.”
“Daydream lowers the entry barriers for smartphone makers wanting to deliver high-quality virtual reality experiences, which so far only Samsung Gear VR has been able to offer thanks to its partnership with Oculus.”