The rise of virtual reality and augmented reality has been at the forefront of technology in the past few years, with multiple companies throwing their hat into the foray. Following in the footsteps of Oculus, Microsoft and Samsung, Google is also stepping into the ring with its Daydream View headset.
More like Samsung's Gear VR than Oculus' Rift, Google's offering will need a smartphone to work. The VR headset sports its own array of sensors, alongside your phone's, for better head tracking and claims a low latency and a superior field of view.
The design of the Daydream View had been made with comfort in mind and, as such, the device is made of fabrics and soft microfibers, instead of a metal or plastic body. It is also 30% lighter than competing devices, which is likely to reduce fatigue from long sessions. The company has also taken care to ensure that users with spectacles can easily use the headset without having to take them off.
The device comes with a controller (included in the price), which can be used to control your character or apps in the virtual environment and is, according to Google, sensitive enough to draw and write. Once you're done, there's even a compartment in the headset for easy storage.
While the headset is still relatively new, Google has already been working on providing a variety of content right off-the-bat, with more than 50 partners promising a virtual experience by the end of the year. Foremost in this department are, of course, Google's own products: Google Play Movies, Street View and YouTube.
With the virtual experience provided by Daydream, users can watch Play Movies and normal YouTube videos on cinema-sized screens right from their couch. Of course, 360 and VR YouTube videos are also supported. With Street View, users can virtually tour more than 150 of the most famous locations in the world or, if it suits your fancy, step into the hooves of a sheep with "Sheep View". If you'd prefer something more Jurassic, you can turn to YouTube VR and watch dinosaurs come to life.
The company has also partnered with third parties to bring a myriad of content at launch. With Warner Bros, the company has come up with a 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' inspired game that places you in the Harry Potter universe and turns you a wand-weilding wizard. Or, you can play games such as Gun Jack 2 from the makers of Eve Online. There are also partnerships with content providers like Netflix, Hulu and the New York Times to keeps users occupied.
The headset will be available for order in November for $79 in the slate color, with crimson and snow coming later. Google's own Pixel phones will be the first supported devices, with many devices from partners to come soon after.
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