It’s a (Day)dream Come True

Google-Daydream

At its I/O last Wednesday Google introduced Daydream, a VR platform build on Android N. To say I’m excited about it is the understatement of the century.

The Future of Mobile Virtual Reality

I think we can all agree that mobile VR is what will take VR headsets to the mainstream. Systems like Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive that are comparatively expensive and tethered to a computer or other stationary device will always attract Gamers and professionals, but mobile VR will be what will become the standard in most people’s households. I know that many tech journalists, and many virtual reality device manufacturers for that matter, believe that the future of mobile VR is in standalone headsets rather than using our mobile phones to provide for most of the tech, but in my opinion the way of cardboard and Samsung Gear VR, among others, is the way to go. If VR is supposed to reach the masses it needs to be as affordable as possible.

As the name suggests, standalone headsets incorporate all the tech that is needed in the headset, making it rather expensive to produce. After all screens, processors, and sensors don’t come cheap, especially if we’re talking high-resolution screens as needed for a nice VR experience. If we go the way of Daydream though all tech will come with our mobile phones, a device that we own already.

While devices like the Samsung Gear VR enhance the VR experience with their own gyro, accelerometer and proximity sensors, making movements much smoother, the original Google VR viewer, Cardboard, never had any of that. It is basically just a piece of cleverly folded cardboard, with some economic plastic lenses in it. If you’ve never heard about virtual reality and want to give it a try without breaking the bank I strongly recommend you try it out. You can get Cardboard sets as cheap as €19 in places like Amazon. That’s how I got hooked to VR. Daydream will take this a step (or ten) further.

What Distinguishes daydream from Cardboard?

Though there are plans to make standalone headsets running on Daydream in the future, initially it’s intended to be a VR ecosystem for Android phones. Unlike Cardboard though it’ll only work with new phones, mainly because they have to provide all the hardware, more advanced sensors being one of them. Additionally, manufacturers will be requested to provide advanced controllers and sophisticated, comfortable headsets too. Google will provide the software. It’s a huge step up from Cardboard, making the experience comparable to Samsung Gear VR, but with most of the tech in the phone. The general idea though is the same. Use the device we all have already and enable it to provide us with high-quality VR experiences.

“Our intention is to operate at Android scale, meaning hundreds of millions of users using Daydream devices,” says Brahim Elbouchikhi, Senior Product Manager, Virtual Reality at Google. Daydream will be will be built as a core element of the entire Android ecosystem providing almost every Android user with the opportunity to get into VR at a very economic level. If that won’t jumpstart the VR revolution, I don’t know what will.

So, how does it work?

Let’s split the Daydream ecosystem into hardware and software.

On the hardware side, Cardboard has never been very interactive. The only control you have on the device is a magnetic switch which enables you to select an option when looking at it. That makes the device great for watching YouTube videos or play simple games, but that’s about it. Daydream devices, on the other hand, will come with a very clever motion­control remote that works a bit like a Wii controller giving you far more advanced control over your VR environment. It contains a touchpad, buttons, gyroscope, a magnetometer, an accelerometer, which will enable it to understand perfectly where it is in 3D space. The connection between controller and headset will be made via Wi­fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Of course, it will still allow you to navigate VR versions of Youtube, Photos, Google Play Movies and Street View, but due to partnerships with companies like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and many others sophisticated games and applications suddenly become a reality in mobile VR.

There’s also that thing called “latency”. It is the time between a sensory input (for example a head movement) and the time the pixels update. It is an important factor in creating a truly believable, head-tracked virtual reality. Since Cardboard works with any halfway decent phone it has never been very good in this department. Samsung included better sensors in its Gear Vr headset and managed to reduce latency significantly. Daydream will rely on the technology present in our mobile devices. That means it’ll have to become much better. Google has already partnered with manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC, Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, Asus, and Alcatel to make sure the standards it sets necessary to run daydream on mobile devices will be met.

 

Google-Daydream-2

Google Daydream

On the software side Daydream will now reach the same sophistication as other providers, like Oculus, already offer. There will be a full visual interface that seems to look a bit like the home screen in my Samsung Gear VR (which is a good thing). It’ll allow you to launch apps and menus. It’ll also include a VR version of the Google Play Store, enabling you to download applications right there in VR . Those apps will take a step up too. Google encourages developers to raise the bar on cardboard and create apps with a longer entertainment value. “Cardboard apps were about fun, snackable, short experiences, largely non­interactive,” said Brahim Elbouchikhi. “Daydream apps are quite the opposite. They’re about immersive content, long form, highly interactive.” The use cases for that kind of technology are endless. Of course, there will be games, but I find the practical use cases far more interesting. There is 3D data visualisation, you can practice giving a speech in front of hundreds of people, education like learning foreign languages and much, much more.

It’s a (Day)dream Come True

Google Daydream

Is This the Promised Virtual Reality Revolution?

My opinion about the future of VR seems to differ from that of most experts. When talking to tech journalists and VR gurus I often get to hear that the future of VR can not be stopped anymore, but it will still take several years to become a mainstream product. I beg to differ. Google has just made a huge step to make advanced virtual reality an affordable product accessible for anybody with a compatible mobile device. Brahim Elbouchikhi says, “In a couple years, we will have hundreds of millions of users on Daydream ready devices.” and I strongly agree with him. I know my next phone will be daydream compatible.

Budweiser Showcases VR Packaging

Budweiser Showcases VR Packaging

Budweiser Showcases

Budweiser Showcases VR Packaging

Budweiser Showcases VR Packaging

VR News Flash: Budweiser  (lager producer) and The Cleveland Cavaliers (also known as the Cavs basketball team) have teamed up to produce a very limited number of Budweiser-branded cardboard mobile VR headsets! Just 750 will be made and the lucky few owners of them will also have a unique opportunity to watch 360° video footage of the Cavaliers playing.

So expect them on Ebay in the near future for stupid prices, that only the most hardcore of Google Cardboard collectors will pay.

Sources Used: http://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2016/05/04/budweiser-branded-virtual-reality-sets-coming-to-cavaliers-fans-for-game-2


Disclaimer: Information contained in The VR Shop news stories are for information and entertainment purposes only. The VR Shop and the information listed may be changed or updated from time to time without notice. Articles do contain certain links to other websites, The VR Shop or anyone who works here does not endorse, warrant, promote or recommend any services, products or information provided in these websites, that may be provided or accessed through them or any person or body which may provide them. The VR Shop accepts no responsibility for such content listed on them or the news verification. Don’t shoot the messenger people!


 

LeEco Jump Onto The Virtual Reality Bandwagon

LeEco

Le-Max-2-VR

 

Le Max 2 VR

VR News Flash: The other week we saw Huawei jump onto the VR bandwagon and now the latest is LeEco with their awesome looking Le Max 2 VR headset. Working very much like the Samsung Gear VR, it is designed to work with the Le Max 2 smartphone which has a 5.7-inch 2K display which will make things look very nice indeed.

The design of the headset is a lot fresher and unique that we have seen before, but we have also seen designs change dramatically before they are released to us the general public. We will certainly be keeping an eye out for it and will let you know more about it the moment we know ourselves.

Sources Used: http://phandroid.com/2016/04/20/leeco-2-2pro-max2


Disclaimer: Information contained in The VR Shop news stories are for information and entertainment purposes only. The VR Shop and the information listed may be changed or updated from time to time without notice. Articles do contain certain links to other websites, The VR Shop or anyone who works here does not endorse, warrant, promote or recommend any services, products or information provided on these websites, that may be provided or accessed through them or any person or body which may provide them. The VR Shop accepts no responsibility for such content listed on them or the news verification. Don’t shoot the messenger people!



 

Big Fish Games Is Making Virtual Reality Apps

Big Fish Games Is Making Virtual Reality Apps

Big Fish Games Is Making Virtual Reality Apps

 

Big Fish Games Is Making Virtual Reality Apps

VR News Flash: Announced by Rodela Carlos (who is Big Fish games social media and video producer) is 3 games heading to a mobile VR headset near you soon. Gummy Drop, Big Fish Casino, and Midnight Castle are the first to be updated into VR and that is a good start. But let’s face it, what we really want is a find ‘n’ seek game in VR, imagine how hard it would be to find something in 360° 3D?!?

With Big Fish games back catalog being filled with enough gems to fill a treasure chest, this is great news for the world of VR. Let us just hope it also encourages them to make dedicated virtual reality games as well as porting their old games into VR.

Sources Used: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIhD9FFBwnA


Disclaimer: Information contained in The VR Shop news stories are for information and entertainment purposes only. The VR Shop and the information listed may be changed or updated from time to time without notice. Articles do contain certain links to other websites, The VR Shop or anyone who works here does not endorse, warrant, promote or recommend any services, products or information provided in these websites, that may be provided or accessed through them or any person or body which may provide them. The VR Shop accepts no responsibility for such content listed on them or the news verification. Don’t shoot the messenger people!


 

The Martell House Cognac Introduce Google Cardboard Packaging

The Martell House Cognac Introduce Google Cardboard Packaging

The Martell House Cognac Introduce Google Cardboard Packaging

The Martell House Cognac Introduce Google Cardboard Packaging

VR News Flash: We are aware that this news has been doing the rounds for a while now. But now we have the total package, a video as well as an app to download and play with. The Martell House has been making high-quality cognac for years now and has decided to launch packaging that turns into a functional Google Cardboard packaging VR headset so people can view their La French Touch experience.

This sort of promotional packaging is going viral at every given occasion at the moment, so Martell House is right to jump on the bandwagon. You can see the headset and watch the video right here on this page, but with the app it seems we will have to do a full review as it is a full game! While we could never suggest drinking alcohol and entering virtual reality, it could be good for a quick pre-drink experience.

Sources Used: http://www.devicedaily.com/pin/martell-package-becomes-google-cardboard-to-view-mobile-360-degree-vr-experience/


Disclaimer: Information contained in The VR Shop news stories are for information and entertainment purposes only. The VR Shop and the information listed may be changed or updated from time to time without notice. Articles do contain certain links to other websites, The VR Shop or anyone who works here does not endorse, warrant, promote or recommend any services, products or information provided in these websites, that may be provided or accessed through them or any person or body which may provide them. The VR Shop accepts no responsibility for such content listed on them or the news verification. Don’t shoot the messenger people!



 

McDonald’s Happy Meal VR

McDonald’s Happy Meal VR

McDonald’s Happy Meal VR

 

McDonald’s Happy Meal VR

VR News Flash: Next on the growing list of big brand companies having Google Cardboard packaging is McDonald’s! These special edition happy meal boxes tear way to make a good quality Google Cardboard mobile VR viewer (smartphone not included).

While most people know McDonald’s food isn’t that good for them (of their children), this is a great business to use this Google Cardboard style of packaging. All the little ones that have these happy meal boxes will want to know more about it and with the ever growing amount of VR education apps, this can only be a good thing. Maybe just throw the food away and grab yourself a free VR viewer! Or chow down one a burger while enjoying the wonders of VR.

Sadly this is only launching in McDonald’s restaurants all over Sweden (March 5 and March 12) so maybe a cheap Europian vacation is in order on those dates.

Sources Used: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/mcdonalds-now-making-happy-meal-boxes-turn-virtual-reality-headsets-169907


Disclaimer: Information contained in The VR Shop news stories are for information and entertainment purposes only. The VR Shop and the information listed may be changed or updated from time to time without notice. Articles do contain certain links to other websites, The VR Shop or anyone who works here does not endorse, warrant, promote or recommend any services, products or information provided in these websites, that may be provided or accessed through them or any person or body which may provide them. The VR Shop accepts no responsibility for such content listed on them or the news verification. Don’t shoot the messenger people!


 

MilboxTouch Brings a Touch Panel To Google Cardboard

MilboxTouch Brings a Touch Panel To Google Cardboard

MilboxTouch Brings a Touch Panel To Google Cardboard

MilboxTouch

VR News Flash: We have all been looking forward to seeing a much better version of Pac-Man in VR, but to make it even more immersive MilboxTouch ver is bringing their Google Cardboard side panel touch-control to it! The possibilities with this sort of touch panel are endless and it would be nice to see more headsets with this sort of control system built in. What is more interesting is in this video ‘SEE HERE‘ it shows them adding the control system to a normal Google Cardboard headset!

Do watch the video as it shows the side panel in action and some good footage of Pac-Man gameplay.

Let us know what you think of Pac-Man VR and the possibilities with the awesome looking Milbox Touch.


Sources Used: http://otakumode.com/news/56cc191fec96d3ac64d441bb/Soon-you%E2%80%99ll-be-able-to-play-Pac-Man-in-virtual-reality-for-just-a-couple-of-bucks


Disclaimer: Information contained in The VR Shop news stories are for information and entertainment purposes only. The VR Shop and the information listed may be changed or updated from time to time without notice. Articles do contain certain links to other websites, The VR Shop or anyone who works here does not endorse, warrant, promote or recommend any services, products or information provided in these websites, that may be provided or accessed through them or any person or body which may provide them. The VR Shop accepts no responsibility for such content listed on them or the news verification. Don’t shoot the messenger people!