Step Up From Cardboard with the Google Daydream View
Now more than ever, users have a wide range of choices for trying out the new world of virtual reality.
The Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE have high performance solutions which are great for serious gamers and technology enthusiasts that can build or have access to decked out Windows PC's with the best in graphics, CPU, and memory performance. Sony PlayStation VR brings virtual reality at a similar price point to its large user base of Sony PlayStation 4 users.
For the rest of us, the more affordable solutions are Android phone based like the simple Xiaomi VR Headset that works with many Android phones, and the Samsung Gear VR which works with Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.
Now Google has released their Daydream View which tries to bring to Android phone users some of the virtual reality user experiences that could previously only be enjoyed on the Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE. Google had previously introduced Google Cardboard, which allowed users and brands to come up with very cheap and simple solutions similar to the View-Master toys of old. While the cardboard was a great low cost way to introduce virtual reality to the curious, the Daydream View is a much fancier retail friendly version with a lot more feature comforts and benefits.
In a way, the Daydream View is a continuation of Google's strategy shift from just focusing on reference design platforms that other brands could follow and make, to a model where it both develops and sells its own products like the Google Pixel phone.
Our Daydream View came with the Google Pixel as part of a special offer when the phone went originally on sale. The Daydream View box had a similar look and feel as the Google Pixel's box.
Once you open the box, the main feature that sets the Daydream View apart from Google Carboard based solutions, Xiaomi VR Headset, or Samsung Gear VR is immediately visible- the Daydream View controller. Similar in concept to the wands founds in the Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE, the Daydream View controller is a step up from Google Cardboard, allowing you to have motion sensors and touch base control in your hand rather than having to press a button on the VR headset itself. This controller is similar in functionality as groundbreaking motion sensing Wii controller, but simpler and more affordable.
Other than the controller, the Daydream View just comes with a strap and thick regulatory guide.
When you first open the Daydream View, there is a starter guide inserted, asking you to first download the Daydream App from Google Play before inserting the phone inside the headset.
The Daydream View headset itself comes in very comfortable breathable material that is also washable.
We will next take a look at how to use the Daydream View with the Google Pixel .