Google has announced that four more devices are now available supporting its Daydream View VR headset. These handsets join the exclusive club that previously counted Google Pixel and Moto Z as original members.
The new smartphones include the Huawei Mate 9, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, Asus ZenFone AR, and the ZTE Axon 7. Each satisfy Daydream's tech requirements, particularly the appropriate sensors necessary to run the mobile VR technology.
Huawei's devices will even ship with their own VR headsets, which supports the Daydream platform. According to Google, the headsets will complement its own VR gear so that the Daydream platform can provide consumers more choices.
It is important to note that compatibility is still anchored on the Android Nougat system. Hence, owners of devices that still run previous Android versions will have to wait for its rollout.
Android Nougat Holdup
The ZTE Axon 7 is a case in point. At this stage, it is not yet clear if ZTE's Android 7.0 Nougat Preview Program has already graduated to a consumer version. The case is also the same for Huawei, which is only expected to deploy its own Nougat firmware anytime this January.
Hopefully, Huawei's devices will be Daydream ready upon their release. The new Mate 9 has been announced last November, but it will only hit stores in the United States on Jan. 6.
Daydream And Asus ZenFone AR
The story is a bit more exciting for the Zenfone AR. It has already been unveiled at CES 2017, and it is Daydream ready.
"ZenFone AR immerses you in incredible new worlds that are so realistic, you feel as if you are actually there," Asus said. "Together with Daydream View, a VR headset and controller by Google, ZenFone AR lets you travel anywhere you want to go, kick back in your personal VR cinema, and play games that put you in the center of action."
Early hands-on impressions reveal that, aside from the slightly protruding edges, the device's slim design fits comfortably with the Daydream View headset.
What is even more awesome is that it will also ship with Google's augmented reality technology called Tango. This is an alternative platform that provides augmented reality capabilities. According to Google, Tango works by tapping three of the ZenFone AR's key technologies: motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning.
Overall, the four Daydream-ready smartphones should boost Google's virtual reality platform. This is critical especially after reports showed that VR applications are experiencing anemic downloads at the Play Store.
The addition of new compatible devices could expand its user base even further, paving the way for Daydream to really take off.