Hugo Barra: Google’s Daydream requires “2017 tech”

At Google’s annual I/O developer conference this year, the company announced the development of a new VR standard for Android which it is calling “Daydream”. Google is building out the platform to be consumer-centric, usable with a number of “Daydream-ready” devices coming out in the near future. Already signed up to create these devices are Samsung, LG, Huawei, and even Xiaomi, which have promised to create smartphones with high end components which will be able to efficiently push mobile virtual reality experiences. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s VP of international recently sat down with Bloomberg to discuss the future of mobile virtual reality, and the company as a whole.

Barra understands that good VR experiences are extremely hard to power. Current desktop solutions are powered by expensive gaming pc’s, and push 2k displays at 90Hz. Our currently display technology implemented into today’s smartphones are limited to 60Hz in comparison, and while they offer great and affordable experiences in their own realm, they aren’t exactly comparable to the powerful VR implementations present in the likes of HTC’s Vive or Oculus’ Rift headsets. It should be possible to make these specifications present in smartphones, but Barra says that likely won’t happen until 2017.

This is more of a 2017 tech. There may be some Daydream-ready smartphones out by the end of this year, but in terms of chipsets and screens that have to be developed, a mass production of such devices should be realistically expected next year.

While the resolution of current devices is mostly up to par with desktop solutions, it’s really the refresh rate that is used to keep consumers from getting motion sick. Especially with the addition of new controllers which Google is releasing with their platform, we are going to need to go the extra step to ensure that the experience is as life-like as possible.

This takes a huge amount of engineering work.  In order for one to feel comfortable wearing a headset for prolonged periods of time, we would need, naturally, a good display, but also a very fast response time. From moving one’s head, to having the sensor pick up that movement, and the screen rendering the change of scenery accordingly, one would need to achieve response times of less than 20 milliseconds. Having a snappy user interface is one thing, creating complex 3D scenes, which respond to real-life movements in all three dimensions is a different deal

And he’s right. While we can comfortably watch 360 degree videos with the technology smartphones currently possess, it is going to take a whole new level of engineering expertise to bring our phones up to par with solutions comparable to the Vive and Rift. If we want smartphones to deliver a similar experiences, manufacturers are going to have to really step up their game in regards to graphics and screen technology. While we might not be able to get these technologies into consumers hands by the end of the year, it’s certainly a goal we can shoot to achieve by 2017. It is likely that vr will have caught on to a much higher extent by that time anyways.

What do you think about his statements? Do you agree? Let us know.

via: Phone Arena

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