Google has announced the Daydream View, its first virtual reality headset for the Daydream VR platform.
The device will ship in November at a cost of $79. The Daydream View is billed as a consumer product and a reference design for future Daydream headsets. The company hopes that these headsets will become more common next year.
Super-light headset offers good comfort
A line drawing of the device was first seen at the Google I/O conference, when the company announced Daydream for the first time. However we know plenty more details about the device at this stage.
The body of the device is manufactured from foam and soft fabric, and there is a hinged plastic panel where your Android phone can sit. The headset weighs less than 200 grams, says Google, making it a lot lighter than Samsung’s Gear VR headset.
Daydream View has a face mask that is fixed in place by velcro, making it removable and washable. Replacements masks will also be sold separately.
Google looking to expand Daydream range
As things stand Daydream View only works on the new Pixel and Pixel XL phones from Google, but the device has room for any phone that can support the platform. Future headsets will also be able to work with any Daydream phone.
Daydream View is designed so that you can get your smartphone in and out of the headset with minimal effort. With that in mind there are some nifty features built-in.
For example if you put an unlocked phone in the front panel, it will be told to launch Daydream thanks to an NFC chip. You can now close the panel and begin using the headset.
Once you’ve closed the panel using the elastic loop, two rubber nubs on the face assist the phone in working out its position. This lets it center the image.
U.S. pre-orders to open October 20
Google has now revealed how the device will work as a piece of hardware. Daydream View has one menu button and one home button, as well as a clickable trackpad at the end. There are volume buttons on one side and internal motion sensors.
The device cannot tell exactly where you are, but it knows which way it is facing and can follow your hand. The whole device is self-contained, as the controller slots into the interior of the headset.
In November there will be one color of the headset available. known as slate. Later in the year colorways known as “snow” and “crimson” will be added.
Pre-orders in the United States open on October 20. Headsets will be available from early November at Best Buy, Verizon and the Google Store.
Daydream will also launch in Germany, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom in early November.
You can use the headset to play a game that is linked with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as watching 360-degree videos on YouTube and navigating Google Street View. There will also be apps available for Hulu, HBO and Netflix.
Many potential buyers will be most excited about the virtual reality games offerings. However Google hasn’t released any details on that front.
Virtual reality gaming is set to get another new addition with the release of Sony’s PSVR on October 13. If you want to get a VR headset, you’ll soon be spoiled for choice. However Google’s Daydream View is among the cheapest at $79.