Google has been dabbling in the VR world for a while now thanks to their Cardboard platform. At their big reveal event today, Google took the wraps off their new Daydream View device, the next evolution in virtual reality for the company. The Daydream View is a step up for Google and is part of their effort to make the Daydream platform and ecosystem into a tangible commercial product for the masses.
Google points out two primary benefits of the Daydream View device in addition to its support for Daydream ready phones like the new Pixel and Pixel XL. First, Google opted to go for a construction that incorporates a “soft, breathable fabric” instead of the typical plastic or cardboard. Besides being similar to the clothes we wear, Google says this choice enabled them to reduce the weight by about 30% compared to typical VR headsets, so there is at least some practical benefit to this choice of material. Google also made the Daydream View capable of fitting over eyeglasses and they included a special storage compartment for the controller, details that they think make the product stand out from other VR headsets.
Google also says the Daydream View is easy to use. Users can just pop open the lid on the front and slide their smartphone in. The Daydream View uses an auto-alignment system to help get things just right for users.
Beyond the headset, the other component that Google includes with the Daydream View is the Daydream controller. The handheld controller includes a small touch pad and a couple buttons to help users control the action they are viewing. More importantly, the controller is packed full of sensors that can sense orientation, movement and gestures. Google says you can use it for big actions like swinging a bat, but it is also precise enough that a user could sign their name with it.
Ultimately the Daydream View will be available in three different colors – Slate, Snow and Crimson. However, at launch only the Slate color will be available with Snow and Crimson following later. Buyers interested in the Daydream View can place pre-orders starting on October 20th through Verizon and the Google Store. General retail availability is scheduled for November in five countries – the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany and Australia. U.S. pricing will be $79.