By Ruiqi Mao
Google Daydream is Google's premium VR platform. Similar to Google Cardboard, it relies on a device to display. However, its selection of supported devices is significantly more limited. It will only run on devices running Android 7.0+, and only a select number of devices from said pool.
The input for Google Daydream consists of a single Bluetooth controller. As it is a Bluetooth controller, it does not support positional tracking for either the headset or the controller. However, it is able to detect rotation and use that, along with a virtual arm model, to estimate the rotation. Input from the controller consists of pointing, a trackpad, a click button, and a menu button.
As with Google Cardboard, the devices that currently support Google Daydream have displays that have a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz. As such, cyber sickness and motion sickness symptoms may appear after extended durations of use, though they may not appear for much longer compared to Google Cardboard.
As Google Daydream is a properly manufactured headset, tolerances are much tighter than those of Google Cardboard. Daydream also does not require the user to hold the headset up, instead opting to use a headband to hold the headset in place. As a result, the VR experience on Google Daydream is fairly immersive.
Google is currently planning on releasing Daydream standalone VR headsets that do not require an Android phone to act as the display. The first such headset, the Lenovo Mirage Solo, is planned to arrive in Spring 2018. The Mirage Solo will also be the first display to support WorldSense, which is Google's solution for positional tracking without the need for external sensors.
Google Daydream is developed for using the GoogleVR plugins for various software development tools.
Running Google Daydream applications requires Android 7.0 at minimum. There are also only certain devices that currently support Daydream, which can be found at Google's official Daydream website.
The Daydream View can be found online for around $100 USD.
Where to Find
The Daydream View can be bought from online retailers: Google Store, Verizon, Best Buy, Walmart, AT&T, and B&H Photo and Video.
On the Galaxy S8, there are issues with a flickering display once the phone is in the headset. The problem has been narrowed down to the NFC chip in the headset interfering with the display. There have been two solutions found. The destructive solution is to remove the NFC tag from the headset itself. The non-destructive solution is to insert a sheet of aluminum foil between the back of the phone and the display to block NFC signals.