At the I/O 2016, Google announced Android-powered VR platform called Daydream, which is baked right into Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, with a dedicated VR mode. This mode includes special version of popular apps such as YouTube, Street View, Play Movies, Google Photos and Play Store. While Android 7.0 Nougat has just started rolling out, it does not include Daydream VR bits, which is likely to come as a part of Maintenance Release 1 (MR1) update. Now, Google has reportedly partnered Hulu and is also recruiting YouTube stars to create exclusive content for its Daydream virtual reality platform. Also Read - Now you will have to pay a processing fee for mobile recharges on PhonePe
Citing sources, Bloomberg reports that Google is funding YouTube celebrities such as Justine Ezarik, popularly known as iJustine, for creating 360-degree videos. The search engine giant is also spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece” for developing VR content and apps, the report states. This isn’t surprising as Google had mentioned at I/O 2016 that it has partnered on-demand video service such as Netflix and game developers such as Electronic Arts and Ubisoft to bring exclusive content to its users. Along with Hulu, the likes of IMAX and NBA are also likely to make their presence on the VR platform. Also Read - Google cuts Play Store fee to 15 percent for all subscription apps from 2022
Google is spending ‘high six figures’ for VR-based games and ‘low five to low six figures’ on projects that involve filmmakers, the publication notes. In comparison, Facebook has also poured in millions to produce VR content for its Oculus platform. It also works in favor of Samsung’s Gear VR, which is built in partnership with Oculus. With Daydream, Google is attempting at a dedicated and better virtual reality platform, compared to Google Cardboard, which was launched in 2014. At the I/O keynote, Google mentioned that it has already shipped more than 5 million Cardboard devices worldwide since launch. Also Read - Facebook’s new name could be Meta or Horizon, or will it be called FB?
Now, while the existing Nexus smartphones won’t support Daydream, major mobile partners will be building smartphones compatible with the platform. The new Nexus smartphones, Sailfish and Marlin built by HTC are likely to be the first ones to support the platform out of the box.
Google has also released reference design for Daydream VR headset and controller, which will require users to clip in their smartphone, just like on the Gear VR. That’s not all; Google is also expected to launch its own standalone VR headset later this year, may be along with the two Nexus smartphones.
The Daydream based apps will work with a small, handheld motion controller. Google had also released a video detailing the concept of the controller that will work along with the headset to offer better VR experience to the users. Using the controller, users can perform gestures and interact with the virtual world. While the working is similar to Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller, the reference design offered by Google looks similar to the Oculus Remote.