For any new platform to succeed it needs apps, and Google’s Daydream VR is no different. Despite Google’s new virtual reality platform launching last week, Google didn’t release a dedicated Dev Kit but the company says that developers can use a Nexus 6P smartphone, a Cardboard unit, and a spare phone.
These pieces can be used to act as a Dev Kit that will be good enough to use with Daydream VR. Although the Nexus 6P isn’t among the list of certified Daydream devices, Google says that it’s good enough to act as a Dev Kit.
To get the DIY Dev Kit up and running, you’ll need your Nexus 6P running the Android N Developer Preview 3, which is the first build to contain the Daydream VR code.
Google does warn of the reasons behind the Nexus 6P not receving Daydream certification:
“The 6P’s thermal performance is not representative of the consumer Daydream-ready devices that will be launching later this year. In particular, expect the 6P to thermally throttle CPU and GPU performance after a short period of use, depending on workload.”
The Google Cardboard portion of the DIY Kit will serve as the yet to be released Daydream VR headset, and Google does advise to try and find a headset with a strap to mimic Daydream.
As for the Daydream controller, any spare Android smartphone running version 4.4 KitKat or higher can act as a controller emulator. The experience isn’t exactly great as it can be hard to hit the right buttons while wearing a headset, but it can certainly get you started while the official Dev Kit is developed. To help with this challenge, Google has provided a printable paper template overlay that can give some tactile feedback for the emulator.
Head on over to Google’s VR developer resources site in conjunction with your DIY Dev Kit to get started developing content for Daydream VR.
Hopefully Google are working on an official Dev Kit to help developers create content for Daydream VR, but in the mean time this DIY Dev Kit can do the job.