At Google I/O 2016, Google announced the next step forward in virtual reality for the search giant with its Daydream platform for Android. The native support of virtual reality within Android thanks to the new platform will mean that manufactures will be able to leverage high performance VR without additional hardware.
According to Google’s VR chief Clay Bavor, the likes of Samsung, HTC, and LG are already in the process of bringing Daydream ready VR handsets to Android. Google says that these devices will have the necessary features to support high performance virtual reality, such as high resolution screens, low latency displays, and high performance sensors. Google listed eight manufactures currently working on VR ready Android smartphones, stating some will launch as early as this fall, including: Samsung, HTC, LG, Mi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, and Alcatel.
While Google states that Daydream will enable high performance VR on Android, the experience and capability is more likely to be on par with that of the Gear VR by Samsung as opposed to some VR headsets like the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift given the hardware power behind it. Regardless, Daydream offering native VR support in Android is certainly exciting for the content selection on the platform as developers now have a large user base to create VR content for. Presumably, Daydream optimised apps will exist on the Google Play Store, which raises the question as to if the Gear VR content store will remain a separate ecosystem. With Samsung at the forefront of Daydream hardware development, no doubt the two companies will find a way to co-exist.
Google says that Daydream will officially launch this fall, so keep your eyes peeled for further details leading up to the launch.