It was abundantly clear by earlier this yr that Google’s curiosity in its Android-based Daydream VR platform had withered, however now the corporate has put the ultimate nail within the coffin by discontinuing the Daydream View headset and confirming that its latest Pixel four smartphone isn’t suitable.
Google had monstrous ambitions for Daydream firstly. The corporate figured that builders would leap on the alternative to construct VR apps on its platform because of theoretical probability they might attain to lots of of tens of millions of current Android customers. However issues didn’t end up as they hoped. The corporate’s guess (which was consistent with others on the time) that slotting smartphones into cheap VR viewers can be an effective way to make use of VR simply didn’t pan out.
As of Google I/O earlier this yr, it was fully clear that Google had misplaced religion in Daydream, however right this moment they put the ultimate nail within the coffin.
With minimal adoption after a number of years, Google right this moment confirmed that it’s going to cease promoting its Daydream View headset, the corporate informed Selection. Whereas the corporate had been fairly good about sustaining Daydream compatibility with its personal ‘Pixel’ smartphone line and a handful of different Android telephones, the brand new Pixel four gained’t assist the Daydream View.
If in case you have a suitable telephone, the Dayream retailer, apps, and headset will proceed to operate. Google informed Selection:
There hasn’t been the broad client or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen lowering utilization over time of the Daydream View headset. So whereas we’re not promoting Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel four, the Daydream app and retailer will stay accessible for current customers.
We noticed plenty of potential in smartphone VR—with the ability to use the smartphone you carry with you in every single place to energy an immersive on-the-go expertise. However over time we observed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term resolution. Most notably, asking folks to place their telephone in a headset and lose entry to the apps they use all through the day causes immense friction.
Google’s first Daydream View headset launched on the finish of 2016, and provided a fairly good informal VR expertise, however wasn’t fairly as compelling as its nearest competitor, Gear VR. Google launched an up to date model of the View in 2017 which made some essential enhancements, however hasn’t executed something with the headset since.
Picture courtesy Google
Regardless of the low value and large accessibility of Daydream and even Gear VR, smartphone VR in the end succumbed to a handful of ache factors. Not solely did the slot-in strategy lack the total 6DOF expertise of high-end headsets, placing your smartphone right into a headset could possibly be cumbersome, and utilizing the headset additionally meant draining your valuable smartphone battery and briefly not gaining access to the telephone itself, which has grow to be an integral a part of many individuals’s lives.
From the ashes of the slot-in smartphone viewers, standalone headsets like Oculus Quest convey lots of the identical advantages (after which some) whereas avoiding a lot of the friction of getting your smartphone concerned. Granted, Lenovo launched a Daydream standalone headset, the Mirage Solo, in 2018 however its poor ergonomics and odd mixture of a 3DOF controller with 6DOF headset didn’t garner a lot consideration.