In the series of Google I/O announcements last night, Google has upped its game in Virtual Reality platforms, moving away from Google Cardboard and introducing their version of Oculus Rift for Android smartphones.
With a plan to release it in late autumn 2016 Google are calling this Daydream. In the ever long Android battle of VR technology, Daydream will be compatible with most standard spec Android based phones. However, companies may now see this as a chance to build much higher spec phones with higher pixel resolution displays to capitalize on this new VR platform because Google Daydream will also work on a 4K output.
Daydream itself is a purpose made headset with controller (non-disposable unlike Cardboard), to which when the phone is docked, similarly to Samsung Gear VR. The headset comes to life and the home screen appears in the headset. The home screen will show applications such as games, Youtube, Netflix and the Google Play Store. Gameplay is experienced within headset with the controller guiding the actions and person throughout the game, much like playing in first person in virtual reality.
Now the really crazy and advanced part of Daydream is that the Street View function of Google Maps can be displayed within the headset itself. The user can place themselves in the map and go throughout their virtual journey just like being there themselves. In virtual reality they can learn their route and know their way around without ever having to go their first and it begs the question, could this be the way forward in satellite navigation technology?
This could see the spark in competition of desktop vs mobile, especially with the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR about to release very soon, and names such as Samsung, LG and HTC already preparing compatible hardware to work with Google’s Daydream there is going to be a fight between manufacturers and developers with their sights set on the top spot.