Google recently launched a hardware and software platform — dubbed Daydream, to help any Android smartphone manufacturer create a VR headset themselves.
Daydream — which encompasses both hardware and software — is a more advanced successor to Cardboard, the disposable headset standard that’s Google released two years ago. It is a mobile VR system powered by the next wave of Android N devices, that built to a company-approved standard. Where Google Cardboard worked with almost any smartphone, Daydream will only work on new phones with the specific components like special sensors and screens. There is no sign of something like Project Tango’s spatial mapping or augmented reality options, but the components are supposed to provide a smoother, lower-latency experience than you could get by simply adding VR as a software update.
Google might be making waves with low-cost Cardboard virtual reality headset, but that was 2014. Daydream is now. Daydream is software and hardware baked into Android N: a headset that looks an awful lot like the Gear VR and Rift headsets, complete with a controller that looks same to an Apple TV remote.
In Daydream, interactivity also means using the included motion-control remote, that all developers will be required to do. Google wants to do away with the standard method of interacting with Cardboard apps: staring at an opt and selecting it by waiting or clicking a button. Instead, developers should treat remote like a laser pointer, taking advantage of its internal sensors. “If you are bringing an application over from Cardboard, using the controller as a clicker does not count as taking advantage of the controller,” said VR design team member Alex Faaborg.