Google announced the Daydream platform in its previous year’s annual I/O event. The platform is Google’s big bet on the future of virtual reality. It facilitates seamless and high quality VR to users through the use of headsets and mobile devices.
The Google Daydream View VR headset, which also was announced in last year’s Google I/O, has finally made its way into India starting today. It was previously available in a few countries like US, UK, Canada and Australia from November right after its launch. Currently, it is available in India exclusively on Flipkart for Rs 6,499 along with some exciting offers.
VR headsets are known to be heavy, clumsy and uncomfortable. But, Google has taken special efforts in making the Daydream View VR headset comfortable. The headset body is made up of cloth, which makes it breathable and provides extra comfort to the user without compromising its durability. A controller is also provided along with the headset which doubles up as a motion control wand for several use cases while interacting with the virtual world. This controller needs to be charged and claims to provide 12 hours of battery life.
As of now, some major services have already hopped onto offering VR content on Daydream. Google’s own services YouTube, Street view, Play movies, etc. are obviously available. Along with them, Netflix, The Guardian and The New York Times also have their apps on Daydream where you can view their content in VR.
For game lovers, there are a couple of good games available such as the Need For Speed No Limits VR, Fantastic Beasts VR and Sherlock VR among others. Although there are just few games as of yet but new ones will keep coming and the future of gaming on Daydream looks promising.
Currently, the Daydream store consists of over 150 applications but it pales down in comparison with Samsung’s VR store which has more than 1000 interactive applications. However, Google is taking considerable efforts in this direction and they seem to be seriously invested in VR. Developers have access to VR app and game creation tools by Google on the Daydream platform itself. Hopefully, we will see more additions to its app store in the months to come.
However, before purchasing the Daydream View VR headset, you would need to know whether your phone is compatible with the headset. Majorly, phones need to have a superb high resolution display, a fast processor, smooth graphic rendering along with a few necessary sensors to be compatible with Daydream. Some of the Daydream compatible phones include Google’s very own Pixel, Moto’s Z and Z Force, Huawei’s Mate 9 Pro and the ZTE Axon 7 among others. Samsung will also bring Daydream support to its latest flagship S8 and S8+ soon.
The Daydream View VR headset relies heavily upon the smartphone’s VR compatibility as the required hardware and sensors aren’t pre-built into it already. This seems like a good strategy considering that the smartphones are becoming powerful each passing day and they can be leveraged effectively for Virtual Reality capabilities. Also, the cost of the headset can be brought down significantly through this approach.
However, Google has also announced a standalone VR headset in this year’s I/O. This won’t require a smartphone or any external sensors to run but will be costlier for obvious reasons.
Even though VR in India is still in its nascent stage, Google’s entry into the domain will be a major impetus to the VR technology in the country. If you have a compatible smartphone or planning to buy one, Google’s Daydream View is a great headset to get started with VR.