Google has confirmed that it will sell its own virtual reality headset and controller for its Daydream VR platform, which will compete with Daydream hardware from rival manufacturers including Samsung. In a post to Google's Developer's Blog on 19 May, Daydream product manager Nathan Martz confirmed the company is developing both a headset and controller for its new virtual reality mobile platform.
Google announced at Google I/O on 18 May that it will create a reference design for Daydream VR platform that it will license to third-party manufacturers, allowing them to create Daydream hardware according to its own specification. The principle is similar to that behind Google's Nexus smartphone line, in which the company handles the design and development of handsets but outsources the manufacturing to other companies – Huawei and LG being its most recent partners.
Rather than just licensing everything out to other manufacturers, however, Google has confirmed it will take a hands-on approach to Daydream hardware development, which should help ensure it gets into the hands of consumers in the form it envisioned.
This means Google will be pitting its in-house tech against the likes of Samsung's Gear VR and the upcoming Huawei VR headset, in addition to any other hardware currently planned or in production by third-party manufacturers.
A handful of companies have already pledged their support for the Daydream platform, which will be built into new Android N handsets from LG, Samsung, Huawei, HTC, Alcatel and Xiaomi amongst others and will serve as a more well-realised successor to Google Cardboard. These devices will be built to Google-approved standards and require certain hardware specifications in order to meet capabilities envisioned by Google.
Google and IMAX
Google is also bolstering its VR portfolio through new partnerships with IMAX and Chinese digital camera manufacturer Yi, which will both develop new 360-degree 3D rigs built to Google's Jump VR specification. Meanwhile on the software front, the company has confirmed that YouTube, Play Movies, Google Photos and Street View are all receiving a Daydream VR makeover.
Martz said: "This is just the beginning for Daydream. We'll be sharing much more on this blog over the coming months. We're excited to build the next chapter of VR with you."