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A Look at Google’s Daydream Android VR Platform

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Google has unveiled Daydream, their new VR platform to become the Android of virtual reality.

The first day of Google’s annual I/O developer conference kicked off this morning with Clay Bavor, Vice President Virtual Reality, taking the stage to announce Google’s push beyond Cardboard into virtual reality.

With over 7,000 in attendance at the Shoreline Amphitheater, Bavor introduced the company’s plan to develop the next version of Android specifically with virtual reality in mind, hoping that every phone running its operating system can be VR ready out of the box.

The banner that Google will be working under that covers all of the company’s VR efforts is being dubbed Daydream. Google is looking to design an entire ecosystem, thinking about hardware, software, viewers, controllers and experiences together.

During Bavor’s keynote, he revealed not only Daydream, a virtual reality platform that sits atop a new version of Android, but also early reference designs for a new VR viewer and motion controller that will be made available to third-party manufacturers.

Early reference designs for Google VR headset and controller.

Early reference designs for Google VR headset and motion controller.

Google also showed off how your favorite apps and games will be coming to Daydream too, including Google’s YouTube, Street View, Play Movies, Google Photos and the Play Store. We can also expect to see additional content partners like Netflix, HBO, MLB, IMAX, USA Today, CNN and many more added to the mix, with more expected to be announced leading into Fall.

Early look at YouTube VR interface.

Early look at YouTube VR interface.

Even though Google may be late to the hardware VR party, by creating both the VR software, hardware and letting partners make their own version, Google is taking a page out of their own Android playbook and could quickly gain lost ground.

Google VR Playstore on Daydreams platform.

Google VR Playstore on Daydreams platform.

Bavor told Fortune that Google had learned a lot from its Glass debacle and applied those lessons to its VR efforts, sharing that a Daydream-ready system will cost less than the price of a $600 Oculus Rift.

Earlier rumors circled that Google would be announcing their own standalone headset and VR platform called “Android VR”. Now we have a name for their latest efforts and will see if Google can push to become the de facto standard for mobile VR, further helping take VR mainstream sooner than later.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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