Google’s VR future looks pretty comfy.
Today at its October hardware/software/everything event, the company showed off its latest VR initiatives including a Daydream headset. The $79 Daydream View VR headset looks quite a bit different than other headsets on the market with its fabric exterior.
Clay Bavor, head of VR, said the design is meant to be more comfortable and friendly. It’s unclear whether the cloth aesthetic is a recommendation for the headset reference design as Xiaomi’s Daydream headset is similarly soft and decidedly design-centric.
The headset and the Google Daydream platform will launch in November.
Notably, while Samsung’s $99 Gear VR requires the user to slot the phone into the headset using the phone’s data port, Google is opting to keep the headset as simple as possible without any embedded sensors or controls. The headset connects wirelessly to the phone.
Speaking of controls, Google’s VR headset includes a single Daydream controller. Like Google detailed at I/O in May, the controller will have three-degrees-of-freedom meaning it isn’t as sophisticated as the controllers on any of the desktop VR headsets but it can do just about everything a Nintendo Wiimote could thanks to motion-sensing IMUs.
Again, the headset is largely just a refined viewer that fits into the new Android Nougat ecosystem with its low-latency VR mode. The headset will not have any external trackers to enable something like positional tracking. There currently are not any consumer VR systems with that technology available, though it’s something Oculus has been toiling over in recent years. It’s unclear whether Oculus will have any announcements related to mobile at its Oculus Connect 3 conference later this week.
Google’s headset may not have all of the bells and whistles available on more serious VR headsets on the market right now but it will bring a quality Android VR experience to people sporting the latest Pixel phones.