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Google Daydream View takes VR into overdrive

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 13:39
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The company on Tuesday unveiled its new virtual reality headset, Daydream View. The goggles are covered in fabric. Clay Bavor, head of Google’s VR efforts said the company worked with clothing makers to get the right design for the device.

Daydream View marks a departure from Google’s focus on creating an inexpensive — but unpolished — experience in virtual reality. Google’s argument was it was opening VR to a broader group of consumers.

But Google’s take, in which its Cardboard VR system cost $15, stood in contrast to peers like Facebook’s Oculus unit, which charges several hundred dollars for its Rift system, or HTC and Valve’s Vive system, which is even more expensive. Even Samsung charges $100 for its Gear VR, which is essentially a nicer plastic headset that also houses a phone for a VR experience.

Daydream View is a headset that will take advantage of Daydream, the hardware and software platform that Google unveiled at its developer conference in May. The platform and this headset is designed to provide a roadmap for any hardware maker looking to build a VR system using Android, and represents its vision for the industry. It’s a far cry from the foldable cardboard products first released in 2014.

Daydream appears to be more open than past VR efforts. Samsung’s Gear VR headset, for instances, requires a recent Samsung phone to work instead of being compatible with any Android device.

Forrester predicts that 37.9 million VR goggles that are powered by mobile devices will be in use in the US market by 2020. Daydream, along with the Gear VR, is a “key player” to make that happen, the tech research firm noted.

“Daydream is a critical driver for the mobile VR ecosystem,” Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder said.


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