Alongside their brand new smartphones, Google also finally unveiled their VR headset — Daydream View — which is made out of lots of fabric instead of hard plastic, and will work best with Daydream-ready smartphones.
Oh and did we mention it comes with a super accurate remote too?
Google’s vision with the Daydream View was for it to be comfortable and easy to use. According to them, a lot of the options out there had issues with comfort and that were pretty complicated to use and operate.
Hence, with the Daydream View, Google didn’t base its design off some piece of tech. Instead, the company drew inspiration for its wearable headset from what people actually wear on their bodies. As a result, the Daydream View looks rather special with its fabric-like appearance. Google says that the View is crafted out of materials that are soft, flexible and breathable. Materials you’d find in clothing and athletic wear. It’ll even work with eye glasses.
The Verge notes that the face-mask portion is held on by velcro so it’s easily removable and washable. Users will also be able to buy replacement masks separately. All of this fabric also means that the Daydream View is rather light, coming in at just 220g which is significantly less than the Samsung Gear VR’s 345g.
That doesn’t mean Google compromised on the View’s specs. In fact, the company says that it has a nice field of view, low latency when paired with a Daydream-ready smartphone and really accurate head tracking. But, unlike the Gear VR, which has sensors and buttons built in on the headset, the Daydream View is pretty much just a housing.
Google is instead relying on the Daydream-ready smartphone to provide all the necessary horsepower to run VR. Still, the Daydream View does at least have NFC for automatic pairing as well as a screen auto-alignment function so you won’t have to fiddle around too much to get the handset in the right position.
So, all you need to do is flip open the front flap of the View, place your Daydream-ready smartphone in, close the lid and fasten the rubber strap at the top.
Besides that, Daydream View also comes with a remote control — similar to the one we saw in the concept images at Google I/O — that Google says is very accurate, so accurate that you can apparently draw with it. View’s controller works kind of like a laser pointer and lets you wave it around to point at things and interact within Daydream with the clickable touch pad or buttons. One nice thing about the controller is that you can store it within the View’s flap too, which should reduce the risk of you losing it.
This is important because when your smartphone pairs with the View, it will launch into Daydream: Google’s VR standard for Android. With the controller you can navigate the menus in Daydream and play games, educational or otherwise, with it. Google also showed off an interesting new game with Daydream that’s based on JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — yes, you can be a wizard — among others.
These games also come alongside other new features in existing apps like YouTube and Street View utilise Daydream for their 360-degree content. Google also said that streaming services like Hulu, HBO and Netflix will be available through apps, giving you a theatre-like experience when watching movies on the go.
Finally, we come to compatibility. For now, the only Daydream-ready device is the Google Pixel smartphones, but Google ensures us that more smartphones are already on the way from their partners. The Google Daydream View will be available in three colours — Slate (at launch), Crimson and Snow — and will be priced at USD79 (around RM327).
For more info, head on over to Daydream View’s product page.