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Google Daydream VR Platform to Launch this Autumn

Daydream headset

At Google I/O 2016 for developers, Google introduced its Daydream — the next generation of its virtual reality.

Google VP of VR Clay Bavor says Daydream will include “all the ingredients you need to create incredible, immersive VR experiences.”

“Over time Daydream will encompass VR devices in many shapes and sizes. But today is about how Daydream will enable high quality VR on Android smartphones.”

Daydream-- both hardware and software — is an advanced successor to Google Cardboard, the disposable headset standard released two years ago. It's a mobile VR system powered by the next wave of Android N devices, built to a company-approved standard.

Google Cardboard worked with almost any smartphone, but Daydream will only work on new phones with specific components (with special sensors and screens) to be released this autumn.

Google Daydream

A Daydream home screen will let you access apps and content (while using a new headset) and an early look shows a whimsical forest landscape (shown in photo at right).

Inside this environment, Google has created special VR versions of YouTube, Street View, Google Play Store, Play Movies, and Google Photos. It's also recruited outside media companies to bring their apps to Daydream-- streaming platforms like Netflix and gaming companies like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts.

The Google exec added that: “Hulu, Netflix, HBO, even IMAX are bringing their libraries to Daydream so you’ll be able to watch shows and movies in a virtual cinema, or an immersive 3D film in a virtual IMAX theatre.”

Some hardware partners that will make Daydream-ready phones include Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, and Alcatel.

Daydream is Google’s “Phase Two” in Google’s mobile virtual reality ambitions. The scale of Android-- with all of its content, service, computer vision and AI assets-- puts Google in a strong position to become the leading force in the virtual reality that will come eventually into AV, digital signage, UC and industrial technology.

Watch the Google I/O Keynotes, including the VR Keynote