The VR bug is everywhere and has bitten not only Oculus , Facebook , Samsung and HTC but also Google. But what is Apple doing, asks many of the Apple fans, are they not developing something like Apple VR. Probably they are, but at the same time the Cupertino giant is tight lipped about it and may reveal something at an appropriate time. Something better and more advanced that the rest of the world has not fantasized, at least we hope so.
But the day belongs to Google, not Apple, At the ongoing Google I/O the yearly extravaganza for the Android developers google has shared the dream for the Google VR framework which they are calling Daydream.
Daydream is the framework which consists of software , smartphone specifications and the Apps along with the headset and the VR controller. Like Google has Android now for smartphones, Daydream will be the platform which other manufacturers will adopt and use and make next generation of mobiles based on the specifications shared by Google.
The VR controller is the new addition to the augmented reality, it allows you to do things easily in the VR environment. Throwing a ball , catching fish and what ever tasks you wish to do the controller makes it easier.
“VR has the ability to take us all to those 1,000 amazing places on the planet that we’ve always wanted to go but can’t get to,” Clay Bavor, Google’s VR effort leader.
Daydream offers a reference design for the Google VR headset and controller which is going to launch in future. The Daydream platform has been joined by many Global smartphone manufacturers (Samsung, Asus, HTC, LG, Xiaomi and Huawei to name a few), and they will be creating next generation of smartphones which are Daydream ready.
The new smartphones will feature much more powerful processor , likely 2K and 4K display and special sensors for a more immersive and better experience. Google is also re-designing some of it’s apps like the YouTube to have a VR ready design.
Thankfully, Google has also given a VR Mode to Android N and not everyone has to invest in the new smartphone and Daydream VR Headset. The Android N VR mode helps in reducing the time lag (latency) between your actual movement and the content on display.
Currently with the Gear VR the motion to photon latency is pegged below 20ms which will get further reduced with the Android VR Mode and even with the Google Cardboard 2.
Google Virtual Reality Platform Daydream
Google has not shared any launch details for the platform and price for the VR Headset from Google. But today Google has shared that they will make the VR headset and controller by themselves and will sell them like they currently sell the Nexus line of smartphones.
The way things are going, the VR world is moving in all directions with Oculus and HTC Vive VR focusing on PC based VR experience, PlayStation going for the console VR and Samsung has it’s own Gear VR. There is chaos but time will choose the best leader in VR, but where is Apple and it’s VR.
Google is now sharing a platform and a framework which could be the backbone of the Global mobile VR like the Android ecosystem. Google has its expertise in the software and they are most capable to create something more profound and universal which other companies can jump on and use. A more open source platform which can help smartphone manufacturers come up with their own smartphones and use the Google platform to provide a better user experience.
From a user perspective also it can be better as you will not have to buy a manufacturer specific VR, so when you switch the smartphone brand you don’t have to change it. If I buy and invest in Gear VR then I am locked with Samsung even for my next smartphone upgrade. A Google VR will work with other smartphones, not only with the Nexus line of devices.
Also it gives a fair competing platform to smaller local manufacturers too like Micromax , Xolo , Lava who will eventually jump on the Google VR platform. These are early days and things will be more interesting in coming months.
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