2016 was a big year for VR, and it’s about to get bigger. Google will be launching its Daydream VR platform in a matter of weeks, Bloomberg reports.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is said to be investing big money on content for the platform. Much of this is going toward development of video games and apps, licensing sports leagues and shooting 360-degree videos, many of which include YouTube stars, according to the publication.
Daydream is being built into the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, which launched this week. It said back in May that Samsung, HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Xiaomi, Alcatel, Asus and LG had agreed to make “Daydream ready” smartphones.
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The idea of the platform is to be the Android of VR. Google will provide a VR platform for other companies to build hardware around, like how it provides an operating system, Android, for companies like Samsung and HTC to build smartphones around.
This isn’t necessarily surprising, as Google already announced a number of games and apps for Daydream during its reveal at Google IO this spring. Video platform Hulu will have a presence on Daydream, as will IMAX, the NBA, and major game companies like Ubisoft. Google will reportedly spend a “high six figures” on video games, and smaller amounts for films, which are made using Google’s Jump 360-degree video platform. It’s not totally clear how much of this funding goes to projects that will be exclusive to Daydream, when YouTube already hosts 360-degree videos that can be watched on a phone or desktop computer. Hulu is reportedly timing some pieces for release when Daydream launches, but they won’t be exclusively available on the platform.
Daydream is Google’s attempt at a ubiquitous VR platform built into the Android mobile ecosystem. Most of Google’s major mobile partners have pledged to build Daydream-compatible phones, which will meet certain standards and can be clipped into special Daydream headsets in a manner similar to Samsung’s Gear VR. Apps will work with a small, handheld motion controller, which will be included with headsets. So far, Google has released only a reference design for these headsets. While Daydream isn’t here yet, developers can get a taste of its capabilities through Android Nougat, and Google has previously said that it will launch sometime this fall.
Google announced at I/O that the new VR headset and software will work out of the box on new smartphones from a select group of manufacturers: namely, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, ZTE, Asus, Alcatel, and Xiaomi.Below models are confirmed entry.
Checkout Daydream compatible smartphones, by clicking on the images below to access the phone.
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