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VIRTUAL REALITY GOOGLE || DAY DREAM Virtual reality for everyone

Tech Tonics

Since its first announcement at the tenth Google I/O, it became clear Google's push into VR with Cardboard was just the beginning.

We long suspected Google would launch a follow up to the simple viewer in the form of a plastic competitor to Samsung's Gear VR - and we were sort of right.
Google released more info on its own branded headset during its new Pixel phone launch. The VR platform is keeping the Daydream moniker, however the first actual device is called Google Daydream View - and is on sale in November for $79.

Here's everything we know now about the Daydream platform so far.

Daydream: Design

Daydream: Design

All the Daydream hardware will have to accommodate a wide set of what Google is calling 'Daydream-ready phones.' Basically, really powerful phones that can run the platform.

The controller is super simple but touted as a powerful little device. The Rift comes with a similar looking remote control but it's not the main source of input. It's been noted that Google's controller is required to "enter VR", so best get used to the idea.

In terms of user interface, think Oculus Home. Head of Google VR, Clay Bavor said the team's built the "Google Play of VR" and showed off videos of new Daydream Home menu screens together with the mention of a VR System UI built into Android N for alerts and notifications.

Google services like YouTube, Street View, Play Movies, Play Store and Google Photos will have dedicated VR apps.

The apps will also be parallax meaning hovering over them with the controller will cause them to shift. The Play Store will also have motion intensity ratings in case there's some VR you can't handle well.

Daydream: Compatible phones

So far, Pixel is the first handset that's been announced for Daydream View. There are two versions of the smartphone - 5-inch and a 5.5-inch - and both work with the headset.

With pricing starting at $649, you can expect the upcoming devices to hit the same mark. With an AMOLED Full HD 1920 x 1080 display and 32/128GB on the Pixel, you'll get a crisp screen for VR and a good amount of storage for games and apps.

Previously, Daydream product manager Nathan Martz said during an I/O panel that "Any Daydream phone will run your app well," directing his comments to developers.

Martz then stated every Daydream phone has low persistence display, no ghosting, low latency, high quality SoC (system on a chip) for rendering at 60fps and high quality sensors.

Google is also making Android Nougat on Daydream-ready phones as VR-friendly as possible. VR mode will be on each of the phones providing new features to push out high performance required to run VR. Android N will take full advantage of your Daydream-ready phone's sensors with new head-tracking algorithms.

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