1Exploring Virtual Reality with Google’s Daydream VR
2Understanding Google’s Motivation
The virtual-reality market is growing in both adoption and revenue. By building a platform of its own, Google is hoping it can capitalize on virtual reality first, as other companies may conclude they don’t need to build their own platforms and instead use Deaydream to capitalize on virtual reality in their own way. If Daydream takes off, Google could be well-positioned in the virtual reality market.
3A Headset Is Available
4Get the Right Phone
5It’s Virtual Reality First
Augmented reality, a technology that places virtual elements in the real world, also is growing in popularity. Apple, Microsoft and others are investing in augmented reality, but Daydream solely supports virtual reality. Whether Google plans to support augmented reality in future versions is unknown.
6The Price Is Right
Standalone virtual reality devices can cost hundreds of dollars, but Daydream’s price isn’t close. The Daydream View headset costs $49. But keep in mind you need a compatible smartphone to work with the headset, which comes free with the purchase of certain handsets. Downloading the Daydream platform is free, and many of the apps—or “Experiences”—are available at no charge.
7Daydreams Presents VR ‘Experiences’
Daydream delivers its virtual reality through apps known as Experiences, developed by Google and third-party providers. As of this writing, apps including Google Street View and Google Photos are available, as well as Ocean Rift to explore the seas and Hello Mars to see the Red Planet. “Personal cinema” apps from YouTube and Hulu also are available.
8This Is Not an Oculus Competitor
To be clear, Google Daydream is a mobile virtual-reality platform designed for users to play content from Android-based devices. Daydream is not a standalone virtual reality device that can compete with the likes of Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Daydream is about delivering a virtual-reality ecosystem, not being a high-end virtual-reality gaming device.
9Try Out the VR Demonstrations
10What to Expect From Software Developers
11What to Expect From Hardware Makers
Google confirmed that Daydream support will be coming to the Huawei Mate 9 Pro and Asus ZenFone AR in the coming weeks. And, later this month at Mobile World Congress, several device makers are expected to unveil high-end Android smartphones that will support Daydream.