Google first try at VR or Virtual Reality was the Cardboard, a very affordable and easy way to experience the new technology. Today, Google is looking towards the future with Daydream their successor to Cardboard. Daydream is not just a hardware component, but rather it is a VR platform landing this Fall. It will integrate with Android N as it has a VR mode and similar to how they went about launching Android, Daydream will have developers across the industry.
Daydream itself will be powered by Android N devices that feature VR Mode, this is the company approved standard for the technology. Unlike Cardboard which has pretty much universal compatibility, Daydream will only work with select devices that meet Google’s standards.
For the smartphone itself, when it is placed into a headset it will launch the Daydream software home. This is where you can see all of your VR enable applications and store your favorites ones with easy access to them. Google has already prepped VR versions of YouTube, Street View, the Google Play Store, Play Movies, and Google Photos. Plus, they are working with third-party developers, like Electronics Arts, Netflix, and Ubisoft, to create experiences for Daydream VR.
The phone is half of the hardware needed for Google’s latest VR setup, the second half is the virtual reality headset itself. At I/O 2016 Google showed off a very basic rendering of the headset and of the controller. From the drawings, it seems that Daydream will look like that of the Samsung Gear VR. The smartphone will go inside and it will have strap that goes around your head. It seems that Google is releasing this design, as phone manufactures will also make the VR headset. Along with the headset itself, Google also released a design for a very similar controller.
Google Daydream will be launching in the Fall of this year, with more details hopefully coming later this summer. It appears that Daydream will be priced at a more affordable rate, hopefully around the $100 price point, but some models could go up higher. And even if you don’t make the jump to Daydream, Cardboard is certainly not dead.