Daydream, Google’s high-quality virtual reality platform for Android, is here — and so is the search giant’s headset, Daydream View.
The platform is Google’s strongest attempt yet at muscling into a market that competitors like Facebook’s Oculus, HTC’s Vive, and others have already begun to corner. And more broadly speaking, it’s a show of confidence in a burgeoning medium that some say has the potential to upend entire industries.
Wondering what’s up with Daydream? Not to worry. We’ve rounded up all the pertinent details and fresh-off-the-press news for your perusal. Bookmark our handy guide to Google’s VR and never wonder again about which phones and headsets support it, or which apps are debuting on it.
The Daydream View is Google’s virtual reality headset, in which Daydream-ready phones can sit to provide a VR experience. The first Daydream-ready phone was the Google Pixel, but others have followed suit.
The whole Daydream setup is similar to Samsung’s Gear VR system, only Google’s Daydream View headset is not locked to specific phones from a specific manufacturer. Users simply open the front flap and insert their compatible Android phone. That makes the headset extremely inexpensive when compared to the PC-based Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as the smartphone provides all of the hardware necessary for an engulfing VR experience.
Not only that, but users can now replace the Daydream View’s facepad, or the part of the headset that rests against your face. That’s helpful for those that use the headset a lot, and means you can do away with your old and dirty facepads without having to replace the entire headset. The facepad costs $15, and can be bought from the Google Store.
The design of the Daydream View is built around one thing — comfort. And, it’s the byproduct of a collaboration between Google and a number of clothing manufacturers. The end result is a product featuring soft fabrics and a 30 percent lower weight than competing products on the market. This should be great on the phone as well, preventing possible scratches on the screen.
On top of that, customers can also wear the headset over their glasses. There are also no wires getting in the way, as the headset connects to the compatible Android phone wirelessly. Three color variations are available: Slate, Snow, and Crimson.
In addition to the headset, there’s also the Daydream View controller. It is small, sporting rounded edges and only two buttons. The peripheral includes motion sensors so that users can interact with the virtual environment, such as draw, shoot aliens, and so on. This controller can be stored in the headset itself when not in use thanks to a little snap-based compartment built into the headset’s flap.
More: Google Home review
The headset is available on the Google Store as well as specific retailers. In the U.S., it will cost $79 and will be available at Verizon and Best Buy. In Canada, the headset will cost $99 and will go on sale at Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Best Buy. In the U.K., you can grab a Daydream at EE and Carphone Warehouse for 69 pounds. In Germany, it costs 69 euros and is only available at Deutsche Telekom, and in Australia, it will set you back $119, but you can grab it at Telstra and JB Hi-Fi.
You can read our review of Daydream View here.