Google's Daydream View VR headset is now served up in Crimson and Snow colors

google daydream view new models crimson snow now available
In 2015, Samsung and Oculus VR teamed up to provide an affordable headset for virtual reality with the Gear VR for $100. It relies on a handful of Samsung’s Android-powered Galaxy smartphones that snap into the front of the device. Customers can grab VR apps from Samsung as well as Oculus VR and experience Netflix and Minecraft up close and personal.

Naturally, Google couldn’t be left out of the smartphone-based VR picture given Gear VR relies on Android, so the company created Google Daydream for smartphones based on Android 7.1 “Nougat.” It was launched on November 10 and is embedded within Android so all customers need to do is purchase the Daydream View headset.

When Daydream View originally hit the Google Store in November, the company only served up a model in “Slate” gray. Now Google is offering two additional color schemes: “Crimson” red and “Snow” white. All three cost $80 each, and include a motion-sensing controller for interacting with the virtual world. Of course, penny pinchers can still purchase the Google Cardboard kit, but Daydream View is built specifically for Google Daydream high-res mobile VR and is a more comfortable fit, too.

Like Gear VR, the Daydream View headset requires the Android smartphone to slip into the front compartment. The smartphone’s display then creates two windows on the same screen — one for each eye — that are seen through the headset’s included lenses. The images are then compiled in the wearer’s noggin, providing the illusion of a single, immersive virtual environment.

Google pitches Daydream View as a more comfortable fit thanks to its cloth exterior and a single headband that wraps around the wearer’s skull. Even more, Gear VR requires the smartphone to gently plug into a special built-in connector, and leaves the back of the phone exposed. Daydream View instead uses NFC technology and capacitive nubs to communicate with the phone. It provides a protective backing too.

Smartphones compatible with Google Daydream will come with the Daydream app installed. The NFC chip embedded in the headset’s tray tells the phone to launch the Daydream app while the tray’s capacitive nubs tell the app where to render the two views on the screen. Unlike the Gear VR, the phone’s USB port is not used by the headset, allowing owners to plug in a power cord when the battery gets low –and it will get low fast, especially when VR gaming.

If you’re curious about the hardware that powers the Google Daydream platform, look no further than the company’s Pixel smartphone. It’s based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 system memory, and a 5-inch AMOLED screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution (5.5 inches on the Pixel XL). The battery promises up to 13 hours of video playback on a single charge, but expect VR applications to eat that battery even faster.

Right now, there are five smartphones that support Google Daydream and the three headsets: the Pixel and Pixel XL from Google, and the Moto Z, Moto Z Droid, and Moto Z Force Droid from Motorola. More Daydream-compatible phones are on the horizon, so Google’s VR solution is just as limited as Samsung’s Gear VR platform for now.

Mobile

Google confirms it will add Android support for foldable displays

It's already clear a few smartphones of 2019 will be foldable, and Google is embracing the trend. The company announced its adding Android support for foldable devices, which will allow apps to work seamlessly with the new form factor.
Mobile

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, Note 9 set to receive Android 9.0 Pie in January

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Computing

Microsoft patent highlights a potential VR text input system

A new patent awarded to Microsoft could lead to a new typing method for virtual reality and on Xbox consoles. The virtual radial dial puts letters within easy reach of joystick commands and offers predictive typing, too.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift, HTC Vive head-to-head: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual-reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Emerging Tech

What’s it like to die? This VR experience puts doctors in a dying man’s shoes

A new VR experience depicts the last days of a lung cancer patient. It is already being used as a teaching tool in hospices and medical schools. But can VR really make us more empathetic?
Computing

Samsung’s HMD Odyssey Plus gives you a clearer view into the virtual world

Samsung's refreshed HMD Odyssey+ promises to make Windows Mixed Reality experiences better by eliminating pixelated views caused by screen doors. The $500 headset also focuses on comfort this year with ergonomic improvements.
Computing

Facebook’s reported Rift 2 cancellation caused a rift with Oculus executive

Facebook may be prioritizing virtual reality on mobile experiences, which may have led to the company canceling development of the Oculus Rift 2. That may have been the cause of Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe quitting.
Photography

Intel’s augmented reality brings Red Bull Rampage into your living room

The extreme mountain biking action of Red Bull Rampage is coming to your living room thanks to the power of augmented reality and 360-degree video that lets fans load a scale replica of the course right in their phones.
Photography

With flip-out lenses, the Vuze XR transforms from 2D to 180-degree VR camera

The Vuze XR is a compact, dual-lens camera with an integrated handle and a neat party trick: The back-to-back lenses can flip forward to transition from 360-degree, two-dimensional video to 180-degree, three-dimensional video.
Computing

Following the Portal, augmented reality glasses may be Facebook’s next step

Following the launch of its Portal smart display, Facebook says it is working on AR glasses, possibly in a move at challenging both Apple and Google and perhaps to rise up in the hardware scene. 
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Mobile

From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.