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Google’s VR headset ‘DayDream View’ launches in India at ₹6,499

Google’s portable Virtual Reality (VR) headset DayDream View, which was unveiled along with Pixel smartphone last year, is now available in India for Rs 6,499 on e-commerce sites including Flipkart and Amazon. The headset is bundled with a hand-held controller to help users interact with virtual characters and objects using inbuilt smart movement sensors along with volume control buttons.

DayDream View works using smartphone displays; it processes display output from smartphone within its hardware and converts into VR output, which can be viewed via the headset’s lenses. The headset is a significant upgrade to the cheaper Google Cardboard headset, which is built using a cardboard box as housing. Google Cardboard’s VR hardware is detachable and can be attached to other ‘viewers’. This makes it more developer friendly and hence can be considered as a prototype.

However, with Daydream View, Google claims to provide a higher-resolution display and motion sensors, which aren’t available on Cardboard. “The headset is made with soft, breathable fabric and is designed to fit over eyeglasses,” the company added. And along with the controller, users can perform gestures, actions like swinging a bat, waving a wand or even drawing in a virtual space.  As of now, DayDream View is available only Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL, Moto Z, Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, and ASUS ZenFone AR in India

As of now, DayDream View is available only Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL, Moto Z, Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, and ASUS ZenFone AR in India

Features, integrations, and applications of DayDream View

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The Cardboard headset, which has moved away from months of prototyping and testing, has now evolved into DayDream, which is essentially a new VR platform with the following features:

  • Video: Users can watch the entire library of YouTube videos on a virtual big screen, and experience custom VR videos from creators . Google’s YouTube VR was Daydream’s number one app by time spent, and around 50% of the time in Daydream was spent on video consumption as of Q1-FY17.
  • Play Store support: Google had launched Play Store on new Google platforms including Daydream and Chromebooks early this year in January. It also has support for Play Movies and Netflix, with which users can watch shows and films on a computer-generated VR screen.
  • Street View: Google says that with Street View users can watch “curated tours of over 150 Locations like the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal, fly over a city, stand at the top of the highest peaks, and even soar into space.” Basically, this is like teleporting to any location on a VR map.
  • VR games: Google has added a number of VR based games on DayDream which include titles like Arcslinger, Wonderglade, Mekorama VR, Gunjack 2: End of Shift, Need for SpeedNo Limits VR, LEGO BrickHeadz Builder VR among others.
  • DayDream SDK: Virtual Reality is still at a nascent stage, and most headsets are costly and bulky. But Google has priced it a lower rate comparatively, allowing not only users but developers to try and test new apps and functionalities using DayDream SDK.

Competition

DayDream View is one of the few VR headsets available in India alongside Xiaomi’s Mi VR headset which was priced at just Rs 999. Mi VR was launched in December last year and received an upgrade in April, but is yet to be launched in India. The Daydream platform is also synonymous to Microsoft’s Holo Lens (Augmented Reality) powered by Windows 10, and the Oculus platform which has Rift VR headset powered by PC’s and Xbox’s and Gear VR headset powered by smartphones.

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