Google’s Daydream VR Headset: So Far So Good

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On the heels of the competition the Google Daydream VR Headset is hitting the ground running and giving last year’s new Samsung Gear VR a run for its money. While the Samsung product was new, innovative and an overall good idea, it definitely needed improvement. The mobile phone powered headset offers an inexpensive means of accessing virtual reality, which is really cool, but Samsung’s edition was a bit awkward and clumsy to use. Google was standing by with plans for the solution to the complaints generated by consumers and has produced the Google Daydream VR Headset.

Google’s greatest challenges

This is Google’s first attempt at delivering this type of technology so it may take some work to get it perfect, but the Daydream VR is a definite step up from the competition. The Daydream View sells for $79 and it is first in a long line of headsets that Google will produce in the VR platform. The View works with Pixel and Pixel XL phones and has been introduced in Android 7.1 Nougat. The current challenges involve realizing the total potential of these products with regard to consumer use and versatility. The direction that Google will take with this product depends upon how well the first few are received by consumers.

There is a great potential with VR software but it hasn’t been realized yet. Although Google knows that it can do much more than it does right now, it would take a tremendous investment of capital and time for engineering prior to production. When compared with the Samsung Gear VR, the Daydream View offers one handed control, features a bundled remote with some motion tracking capacities which are similar features. Improvements such as an inside out camera or eye tracking would make the Daydream better and the rumor is that this is coming in the next editions.

What makes the Daydream a preferred choice among gamers

Many gamers hold the Daydream View as the best mobile headset on the market because of its ultra soft body, lighter weight and smaller size. The portability of this headset is an attractive feature. In this regard it surges ahead of the Gear VR. The majority of the weight of this unit rests on the forehead which means that it keeps the weight off of the cheeks and the comfort far exceeds other models that don’t have this feature. The Daydream is crafted with plastic sliders on the head strap versus Velcro patches with other sets, which makes it easier to adjust and gives you a much wider selection of size adjustments to choose from.

Additional features

The View is designed to be easy to clean. It is made of dirt resistant materials and all that you need to do is to wipe lightly to clean. The mask portion is detachable and may be hand washed. This is a common complaint with other brands because grime tends to collect on the mask portion and the detachable feature is definitely a major benefit.

The setup process with Daydream offers a smoother transition than Gear VR. In comparison, the software loads more quickly and seamlessly. the flat tray easily secures the phone to the fore of the headset. The power and volume buttons are easy to reach and the NFC chip tells the system when it should launch into VR. There is no need to make adjustments as this is taken care of automatically, which is an advantage over Cardboard.

Learning Curve

There is a smaller learning curve associated with the Daydream VR. It might take a little while to play with the View adjustment but once you’ve mastered it, it’s very comfortable and is well fitting. Like anything, it takes a little practice to get everything just right but once you’ve arrived, it will become second nature.

Pixel Compatibility

The Pixel phones offer highly responsive displays. They are a little on the grainy side for both the Pixel and Pixel XL. The Pixel XL offers a broader field of view than the Pixel and it eliminates the thin vertical bars that you see around the edges with the Pixel, but in general, the Daydream does a good job of working with each phone.

Other compatibility

Google provides more than fifty Daydream apps which are coming by the years’ end, with currently twenty five available. Cardboard applications may also be launched from your Pixel phone and used with View for even greater options. You’ll find that several options for action games, puzzles, Wall Street Journal VR news, an interactive star chart and Google photo and video viewers.

Daydream VR’s greatest attributes

The handheld controller and its amazing levels of interactivity are what truly set the Daydream apart from the competition. It features a clickable trackpad which is located on the top for ease of use. You may use the home button to recenter the headset as needed and your volume rockers are placed along with side. While the motion tracking isn’t considered to be “true”, the internal sensors do generate amazing precision for the laser pointer. It has the capacity to mirror natural arm motion on a limited basis and right and left hand orientation is optimized via use of menu items that give you greater control through the settings.

Final thoughts

The Google Daydream VR is an affordable option that i currently outperforming the competition with regard to ease of use, comfort and versatility. While the potential of this device has yet to be fully realize, it does its job well and is quickly becoming the preferred option for many gamers. How far this headset will go depends on whether or not Google is going to be willing to continue development to realize its full potential. Consumers are pleased with the product but they truly want to see more. Understanding where this technology could go in the future is a tantalizing proposition and dyed in the wool gamers would like to have a fully rounded VR experience.

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