Google has announced a new virtual reality (VR) platform called Daydream, which will be built into the Android N operating system.

Google's developers conference, or Google I/O, has already kicked off and the company has revealed some of its future plans. Daydream is one of the biggest announcements made during the conference that is aimed at enhancing VR experience.

VR is said to be the next big thing in the tech space. Google launched its basic VR headset called Google Cardboard during the company's 2014 developers conference. Google has not unveiled a successor to Cardboard but Daydream is great news for the smartphone industry.

Google has reported that some handset makers including Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi and more are developing smartphones that will be VR-ready straight out of the box. Google did not reveal a lot of details about Daydream but announced that some manufacturers will be ready to launch their Daydream-ready smartphones this fall.

According to Google, a VR-ready smartphone running on Android N will offer computing power and screen for Daydream, but users will also require a VR headset and controller. Google also displayed a reference design of a VR headset that could be used by handset manufacturers to make their dedicated VR headsets.

A number of companies such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Oculus and more already have their VR headsets in the market. An International Data Corporation (IDC) report predicts massive growth of VR hardware in 2016.

"Worldwide shipments of Virtual Reality (VR) hardware will skyrocket in 2016, with total volumes reaching 9.6 million units. Led by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus, the category should generate hardware revenues of approximately $2.3 billion in 2016," says IDC.

Given the expected boom of the VR industry, majority of the handset makers will want to launch a VR-ready smartphone. However, no mobile device manufacturer has confirmed plans of launching a VR-ready handset.

Google's latest mobile operating system is found in a number of Nexus devices. Google announced the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X in September 2015, which were the first smartphones to come running on the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. It is likely that the next-gen Nexus smartphone could be the first VR-ready mobile device.

Photo: Kristina Alexanderson | Flickr

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