At Google I/O 2017, the Mountain View giant has been announcing all sorts of new services, frameworks and products, from computer-vision assisted features to Android O design improvements and a juicy beta.
DayDream was not left out, as the company aims to double-down on its Virtual Reality efforts to improve the experiences it provides. DayDream currently faces extremely limited support, with most people only capable of experiencing it on their Pixel devices. Luckily, new devices are joining DayDream, including the highly successful Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus through a software update this summer, and the ZenFone AR. Additionally, Google announced that LG’s next flagship phone coming later this year will also support DayDream — we presume this is the LG V30, which is reportedly featuring an OLED panel, enabling it to pass DayDream certification. That’s not all, though, as Google is working a new kind of DayDream experience altogether:
— Google (@Google) May 17, 2017
Standalone DayDream headsets are coming to enable better-tailored experiences, making VR more accessible, easier-to-use, more comfortable, more powerful, and feature-packed. Qualcomm is one of the partners that will aid Google in making this a reality, and we’ve known of Qualcomm’s involvement with standalone VR headsets for a while now (in fact, some of us at XDA have demoed Qualcomm-powered headsets). Furthermore, “World Sense” technology will improve positional tracking by mapping the real-world through sensors and cameras to deliver a more life-like experience, so that your view and position matches the real-world. Finally, Google announced HTC, maker of the famous HTC Vive, will be making a standalone DayDream headset as well as Lenovo, which helped Google with Project Tango.
Speaking of which, Google also briefly discussed their advancements in Augmented Reality, revealing that a second-generation Tango phone (ZenFone AR) is coming this summer. Tango and GoogleMaps will see closer integration to give devices very precise location information, indoors. In fact, Google briefly demoed a “Visual Positioning Service”, or VPS, which allowed a smartphone to guide a user through a store to a specific product, by scanning the store and contrasting the data with previous information modelled by Google, allowing the phone to figure out where the user is in space. This will be a tremendous benefit for visually impaired people, as it can be paired with audio interfaces, and it’ll also be a key part of Google Lens.
Finally, Google demoed new additions to their educational Expeditions VR experiences, this time leveraging augmented reality to create classroom presentations where all sorts of experiments happen in front of students’ eyes, through their device.
There’s a lot more to Google I/O 2017, so check out our coverage and stay tuned for even more details.
What do you think of Google’s VR efforts? Chat with us in the comments!