After the first cardboard cardboard Google is trying to bring VR glasses for smart phones to a new level. New model points with a nice fabric cover is already received in our testing lab. Will be interesting to see the capabilities of the device paired with a new controller and a smartphone Google Pixel XL.
When Google gave discreet packages to all participants of its annual conference for developers two and a half years ago, they were able to join the virtual reality according to the principle “cheap and cheerful”. A small gift contained a cardboard box with two lenses and a magnet inserted inside your smartphone, and then using a special app you can dive into the world of virtual reality. Moreover, the app can be conveniently downloaded using printed QR code.
Two and a half years later Google decided to upgrade their VR glasses, by choosing the case from qualitative plastic with a soft fabric cover. Glasses complements Bluetooth controller with touch pad and buttons. Themselves Google Daydream View glasses to can easily fit in a box from under children’s shoes, but they promise a deep dive into the world of virtual reality. The basic concept of points has not changed: in case Daydream View installs a compatible smartphone, then you can start to dive into the virtual world. But the price of the new solution is much higher. New Google Daydream View will cost 69 euros. However, the amount is quite acceptable for most users.
Compared to Samsung Gear VR solution Daydream View seems more appealing because they can work not only with Samsung smartphones, but also theoretically with all smartphones that use the Android operating system. Google is trying to create a Daydream of a reference platform which can be used by all manufacturers to offer users the VR content. That is, producers do not have to develop their own solutions from scratch. And that the users were confident that their smartphone will be able to work with Daydream View, Google has thought through the certification system. Smartphones can be marked with the logo “Daydream Ready”.
In fact, with minimum requirements, the situation is not entirely clear. You will need a powerful processor and high resolution display and operating system Android 7.0. According to Google, the smartphone must use a processor with cores not less than two, of which one core will be allocated exclusively to the app Daydream. The graphics solution must support at least OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan, that is, theoretically, here comes the Adreno 420, 430, 510 and 530, implemented in the chip Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, and 810 in the range of 65X for the upper mass market segment. Thus, theoretically you can get support for Sony Xperia X, Samsung Galaxy Note edge and LG G3. But Google itself indicates that Daydream View will not support the old model.
This is probably due to the fact that the performance of the HEVC and VP9 in Full HD resolution should not be below 30 fps – and it provides only a new GPU. Furthermore, it should be decoding H. 264 in 4K resolution at a speed not below 30 fps, which narrows the choice of GPU. The display resolution must be Full HD, but QHD is recommended. Supports smartphones with a diagonal of 4.7 to 6 inches. Google also shows the presence of highly sensitive sensors, and support for Bluetooth 4.2 along with LE.
At the moment, the above criteria correspond to only ZTE 7 Axon XL and Pixel own design. The latter features a 5.5″ display with a resolution of qHD (2.560 x 1.440 pixels) and uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor 821 with 4 GB memory. Smartphone Huawei Mate 9 version Porsche Edition could become the third model to Daydream Ready, it will hit the market in December.
Today, the range of smartphones that are compatible with Daydream, is very limited. Two compatible flagship are more expensive than 900 euros, so Daydream View – expensive toy. At least ZTE Axon 7 can be purchased from 450 euros, much cheaper. If you have on hand a compatible smartphone, Daydream View, you can start exploring the virtual world.
Work Daydream View on the smartphone need to install the appropriate application. On all compatible smartphones the app will be pre-set, it is deeply integrated into the operating system and is the Central place of access to virtual reality applications. Through a Daydream, you can not only start applications, but to download and buy them in the store. But the choice is still very scarce. Most of the applications are free but some will cost from $ 0.99 to 5.99 euros. This Daydream manually run is required. Simply insert the smartphone in glasses Daydream View, after which the smartphone via NFC will recognize this step and will start the program Daydream. Then just wear sunglasses take in the hand controller and you are ready! The controller you must first configure and update the firmware if necessary. To configure you need to take a comfortable position (sitting or standing), and then hold the controller button menu. Which will lead to calibration of sensors of the controller.
The controller communicates with the smartphone via Bluetooth and is in the virtual world, a kind of laser pointer or a continuation of the user’s hand. Inside there is a large number of different sensors. As in the case of Nintendo Wii, the controller can turn into a virtual hand, which can be, for example, a Golf club, a magic wand or sword depending on the game. Controller can be used to conveniently switch between the different menus and perform different actions. All this greatly improves the immersion in VR, though not to the level of the more expensive points of the HTC Vive. Here, of course, the benefits include the free movement of the player through the world of virtual reality. There is a touch-pad that can be used to control the game. In General, the controller seemed to us a most useful addition to the new VR glasses Google. In addition, the previous version of the smartphone points often had to be removed to perform some action. Here, due to the presence of the controller will be fewer problems.
The glasses weigh only 220 grams, which is substantially heavier than the cardboard version, but they are still much easier for the competitors – the same Samsung Gear VR. Along with the smartphone Pixel XL, which adds another 168 g weight is slightly less than 400 g In the first minutes of the game the weight is not a concern, but after several hours of games or watching a feature film fatigue accumulates. In addition, the skin around the nose heats up and sweats. The reason lies in the smartphone, as its brightness in the Daydream mode is automatically set to maximum. Yes, and “iron” very much degraded, so too is heated.
But, of course, Google glasses do not reach the level of popular models such as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. But this is not surprising, as smartphone not fast Core i7 processor or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB memory GDDR5X. We have to rely only on the resources of the SoC, even powerful. Despite the high screen resolution Google Pixel XL 2.560 x 1.440 pixels, two pixels lenses glasses noticeable, although after the first minutes of the game, forget about them. As in the case of the original version of points Google Daydream View does not have the ability to regulate the lens or change the distance between them. As a result, the image at certain angles may be diluted, but it all depends on the physiology of the gamers.
At the time of Declaration points Daydream View of available applications was very little. In addition to native Google services you can download a dozen games and applications. Using Google Street View you can go on a virtual tour of the Palace of Versailles, to visit the Taj Mahal, climbing the Swiss Alps, Hiking on the Galapagos Islands, or watch the view from the observation decks of some of the skyscrapers. Information is taken via Google Street View database, but the panoramas are processed so that they could watch 360° – therefore requires a high-speed connection to the Internet. In YouTube can run videos in three-dimensional format. The point here is the special video format 360°, which you can watch in full view. But it all depends on the quality of the video itself, as they are often too blurred.
In the game “Wonderglade” the gamer controls a girl who visits an amusement Park. Gamers need to look for tickets for the draw on the wheel the Wonder Wheel, passing mini-game. Through the wheel the player is given various items that you can use in mini-games. Mini-games are different, the gamer have to fight with the computer mini-Golf or smash the crystals with the help of a magic wand. Or to extinguish the fire. “WonderGlade” you can download for free in the Play Store and app Daydream.
In the game “Mekorama VR” the gamer controls the robot in a three dimensional world, which is to get to the exit to the next level. The world consists of small cubes, like Minecraft, some of them can be moved. The gamer gets a level map that can be rotated 360° and viewed at different angles. Using your finger on the controller can make the robot move in the right direction. In this case the robot needs help to overcome obstacles to manage bridges and elevators. “Mekorama VR” will cost 0,99 Euro.
At a price of 5.99 euros available the more expensive “Hunters Gate”, which is a classic shooter. The gamer can choose arrow Forge or the mage Payne, then you need to fight the demons of darkness. Last come not only on foot but also fly through the air. To control the game using the touchpad, your finger is used to shoot and/or magic. In “Hunters Gate” co-op mode so you can free the city from demons at the same time with friends.
Finally, a “Star map Cardboard” with glasses Daydream View, you can explore the starry sky. You can enjoy the Sun, the Moon, the Earth and other planets and explore the Solar system in real time the program performs an accurate simulation. Also available Buzzfed articles and the Wall Street Journal in a mode similar to the YouTube app, but only in English. Through the app “Google Arts and Culture” you can view the paintings of great masters.
In the coming weeks and months needs to get new games and apps for Daydream View. Already announced quite a lot of games, including Ubisoft.
Glasses Daydream View has not yet appeared in Russia, but in Germany the Deutsche Telekom sells for quite a fair price of 69 euros. Compared with the first cardboard model glasses are much more expensive, but do not forget about competitors. The same Samsung Gear VR today will cost 7 thousand rubles, or 80 euros. However, Google still has a lot to do to support its platform as widely as possible. In addition, it would be nice to provide a certificate to Daydream more affordable smartphones for the mass market. Let’s hope that the list of available applications will increase in the coming weeks and months. Ten apps that appeared after the announcement of the platform, obviously the weather will do.
In addition, the market is not just the brand version of the Daydream View. Other manufacturers such as ZTE and ASUS had already announced the relevant points. Let’s hope that the platform will continue its development. On the market today are too few smartphones that support the new VR glasses and a controller. According to Google, the situation will change in the coming months and weeks. Various manufacturers, including ASUS, ZTE, HTC, Xiaomi, LG, Motorola and Alcatel have already announced their devices. It is a pity that previously released smartphones is not compatible with Daydream. It is unlikely the new model of revolutionary progress in recent months in terms of performance, technologies of sensors and the quality of the display. Yet here in the first place remains marketing.
In General, to work with Daydream View was very nice. If you have a few free minutes, try to dive into the world of virtual reality from Google. But prolonged gaming sessions is too tedious.