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Google Daydream VR Platform Now Open To Developers As It Steps Out Of Beta

23 September 2016, 8:26 am EDT By Chris Loterina Tech Times
Google Daydream VR includes a headset and a VR controller. Both are used alongside a compatible smartphone running the latest Android Nougat, which will feature a home launcher and store for VR content.   ( Google )

Google has announced that the Daydream VR, its own virtual reality technology, is now out of beta stage. This means that the platform is now officially open to developers.

The Daydream VR platform is Google's more ambitious upgrade to the Google Cardboard. The belief is that Google plans to take things further than simply developing a VR interface. Many suspect that the company plans to make its own VR hardware in the future.

The goal behind the Daydream VR is to allow users to port their favorite Android apps into virtual reality. It will be integrated in Android Nougat running on Daydream-ready phones. It was first announced early this year during the Google I/O confab.

Google has promptly provided the developer tools to get programmers started this early. This purportedly allows the developer time to develop high-quality VR apps before the company starts advertising the technology. The accompanying developer kit, particularly, allows for quick running start as it enables a simplified VR development.

"Our updated SDK simplifies common VR development tasks so you can focus on building immersive, interactive mobile VR applications for Daydream-ready phones and headsets, and supports integrated asynchronous reprojection, high fidelity spatialized audio, and interactions using the Daydream controller," Google said in a blog post.

Google pointed out that the platform will support native integration in Unity, which is known for its optimizations in VR rendering. Daydream VR also updated its support for Unreal engine integration and Google has provided all the necessary tools, plugins and binaries accordingly. For example, controller support has been included in the optimizations, editor and neck model, among others.

There are those who wonder how developers could proceed on exploring and building Daydream VR apps if there are no current Daydream-ready phones in the market. One should remember that compatible devices are only going to start to roll out later this fall. To address this presently, Google has identified the Nexus 6P as an appropriate device. A detailed process has been provided to set it up.

The company warned, however, that the Nexus 6P could run very hot to the point that it thermally throttles both CPU and GPU performance.

The latest development to the Daydream VR is also fuelling speculations that the search company will be launching the headset on Oct. 4 where the much anticipated Google Pixel smartphones are expected to be unveiled. On its public release, Daydream VR is also said to include Netflix, Hulu, HBO, MLB, NBA, CNN and The New York Times. Several games published by Ubisoft and Electronic Arts will also be available during launch.

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