Google's interest in VR was short-lived. After just two iterations of its Daydream 2 VR headset, it has decided to retire support for the technology and discontinue the VR headset.
"[There hasn't] been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we've seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset. So while we are no longer selling Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel 4, the Daydream app and store will remain available for existing users," the company told Engadget.
Google, which had earlier hyped up the technology, has now stated that it is not a long-term solution because of clear limitations.
The basic constraint in the technology becoming popular is that it requires putting your smartphone inside the headset, which means you can't do much else when you are using VR on a smartphone.
Instead of virtual reality, the company will further its work on augmented reality (AR) and designing features such as AR directions for Google maps. It will also integrate AR experiences in Google Search and Google Lens.
This entails that Apple made a much better deal in focusing on AR since three years, while Google choose the VR route. Apps such as Hulu have already shut down support and even Google has shut down its Spotlight Stories VR studio for Daydream.
Here's the company's official statement on the matter. "We saw a lot of potential in smartphone VR — being able to use the smartphone you carry with you everywhere to power an immersive on-the-go experience. But over time we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution. Most notably, asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction."
"There also hasn't been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we've seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset. So while we are no longer selling Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel 4, the Daydream app and store will remain available for existing users."
"We're investing heavily in helpful AR experiences like Google Lens, AR walking navigation in Maps, and AR in Search that use the smartphone camera to bridge the digital and physical worlds, helping people do more with what they see and learn about the world around them," a spokesperson for Google said.