Google is releasing a $79 headset named Daydream. Road to VR has an article on the headset.
The headset uses a phone, not included. But, the phone has to be Daydream Certified. I’m not sure exactly what that means and I didn’t dee anyone explaining it. The most they say in the way of an explanation is: the Daydream headset works exclusively with Android’s integrated VR support.
Researching the topic of Daydream Certified and Android VR I find that Google isn’t publishing the Daydream specs. So, nobody knows exactly what it means, which explains why no one is writing what it is.
Road to VR (R2VR) has another article, Existing Phones Unlikely to Qualify as ‘Daydream Ready’, Says Google, VR Fans Should Wait to Upgrade, explaining what is likely to be required to be Daydream Certified. The short story is your phone isn’t… No current day phone is.
New phones supposed to be selling this fall (starting 9/22?) could be Daydream Certified (DC) or at least near the DC spec and sort of usable.
R2VR tells us about low persistence, fast refresh, hi-rez screens and special software design of the Android operating system for processing of dual streamed imaging. But, they go on to talk about redesign coming in Android N that allows the phone to process all this data and NOT OVER HEAT… what!?!. My S5 will stream a movie and not over heat. But, it seems tracking head motions and talking with a remote computer controlling the image generation is more than current phones can handle. Just the tracking and dual streaming is more than current tech can support. So, we obviously a long way from breaking the tether to a larger machine doing the actual rendering.
I suppose just as NVIDIA and AMD are redesigning video processors to dual image process in twin streams, Android is being redesigned to more efficiently handle dual imaging.
While it is nice to see the headset price dropping, I expect I’ll be waiting to make any decisions about VR gear until sometime in 2017.
Indeed… Oculus Rift, where are you? 🙂 I guess that the $500 tier of VR stuff will very quickly be completely abandoned in favour of $500+ smartphones that can easily do the same and just need a $20 gadget to place it in front of your eyes ($20 being what AliExpress lists as an average price for uncountable small Chinese manufacturers doing all sorts of clever ‘VR gear’)…
My Nexus 5x overheated and caught fire 6 inches away from me so I am a bit skeptical but I just don’t think strapping an overheating cell phone 2 inches from my eyes would ever seem like a good idea. It would be better to wait on something like this until more phones other than the Pixel officially support it.