Google’s Project Daydream View is affordable VR for smartphones

Nick Broughall 5 October 2016 NEWS

Google Daydream

Off the back of its Pixel smartphone launch, Google has unveiled its first VR headset for the Daydream VR platform.

Google's Daydream VR platform isn't exactly new, being built on the strong foundation established with the Cardboard platform. But until now, there hasn't really been any real news on what the Daydream platform actually provides.

At the launch of its Pixel smartphones today, Google also took time to unveil the first headset on the Daydream VR platform. Dubbed Daydream View, the headset will work with compatible smartphones to deliver immersive 360 degree entertainment experiences. Initially this will include the Pixel family at launch, but Google promises wide support from partners moving forward.

The Daydream View is notably different from a design perspective when compared to the likes of the Gear VR from Samsung, in that its body is made from soft fabric and foam, rather than hard plastic. A hinged face plate drops down to let you insert your phone, while the entire headset is set to weigh less than 200 grams. Initially the headset will be available in the slate grey colour, but there will be a white and crimson version coming later in the year.

The other big difference with the Daydream View is that it comes with a dedicated controller. Tucked away under the front of the headset for storage is a compact controller that allows users to interact with the virtual world they are viewing. The simple controller features a clickable trackpad, motion sensors, volume controls and dedicated buttons for home and the menu, and while it lacks the immersive position tracking of the HTC Vive, it does offer a level of positioning within the virtual world for a whole new suite of applications.

You're a wizard, Google

To celebrate the confirmation of the Daydream View, Google also announced some of the software applications the platform will run, starting with a Harry Potter wizarding game that ties in with the upcoming Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them film from Warner Bros.

There will also be dedicated streaming apps from Netflix and Hulu, plus unique opportunities to experience Street View and YouTube's 360 degree videos,

The Daydream View is set to launch in early November for an RRP of $119 in Australia, and will be available from Google direct, as well as JB Hi-Fi and Telstra.

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