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 tightly lipped about it and may reveal something at an appropriate time. Something better and more advanced than 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 developer’s 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.
How the VR Controller Works?
The VR controller is the new addition to the augmented reality; it allows you to do things efficiently in the VR environment. Throwing a ball, catching fish and whatever tasks you wish to do the controller makes it more accessible.
“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.
Also, 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 its apps like the YouTube to have a VR ready design.
Android VR Mode
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. This will get further reduced with the Android VR Mode and even with the Google Cardboard 2.
Google Virtual Reality Platform Daydream
Besides, 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 even sell them like they currently sell the Nexus line of smartphones.
Moreover, the way things are going, the VR world is moving in all directions. Oculus and HTC Vive VR focusing on PC based VR experience, PlayStation going for the console VR and Samsung have it’s own Gear VR. There is chaos but time will choose the best leader in VR. But the question is where is Apple and it’s VR.
The VR Apps
Google is now sharing a platform and a framework which could be the backbone of the Global mobile VR similar to an Android ecosystem. Google has its expertise in the software. And they are most capable of creating something more profound and universal that other companies can jump on and use.
An open source Google VR platform to help mobile manufacturers provide a better VR 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 Gear VR, then I can only upgrade to a new Samsung phone. A Google VR will work with other smartphones, not only with the Nexus line of devices.
Also, it gives an open 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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