Only smartphones with beefy specifications will support Daydream virtual reality (VR) content.
After introducing the ultra affordable Google Cardboard a couple of years ago, Google unveiled its Daydream virtual reality platform earlier this year. With the platform built right into Android, Google aims to give a big push to virtual reality. While the platform is only available on the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, Google has now revealed hardware requirements the smartphones need for integrating the Daydream platform.
Spotted by AndroidAuthority, the hardware requirements come in the form Android Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), painting a clear picture on smartphones that will be able to run Daydream VR. While the document has a lot of tech jargon over the specifications, we’ll take a look at some key takeaways. To begin with, the smartphone should have a screen size between 4.7-inch and 6-inch. In terms of resolution, full HD (1920×1080 pixels) is just enough, but Google ‘strongly recommends’ the resolution to be QHD (2460×1440 pixels) or higher.
Google hasn’t mentioned anything about the type of panel – OLED or LCD. However, since OLED panels have lower latency levels compared to LCD, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if AMOLED and OLED are the ones that finally make the cut. Talking about the processor, Qualcomm has already confirmed that Snapdragon 821 SoC is the only one to support Daydream VR platform. However, with ZTE claiming that its Axon 7 running on Snapdragon 820 does support Daydream, it remains to be seen if it finally gets the platform support with Android 7.0 Nougat update. Apart from that, smartphones should also have gyroscope, magnetometer and accelerometer sensors for Daydream VR to run.
Currently smartphones such as Google Pixel and Pixel XL already support it, and Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe powered by Snapdragon 821 SoC should also be in the list of compatible devices. Google also mentions that Vulkan Hardware Level 0 and Level 1 support is needed. And while Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge support Vulkan 1.0, they haven’t been mentioned in the Daydream compatible list. It’s unlikely that the existing flagship smartphones will support the platform, but we surely can expect most of next year’s high-end Android smartphones to support Daydream VR.
Google recently launched its ‘Daydream View’ virtual reality headset priced at $79 (approximately Rs 5,200). The company has ditched plastic in favor of fabric for building the headset, which also makes it 30 percent lighter than other headsets. Similar to HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the Daydream View headset also comes with a handheld motion controller using which users can perform gestures and interact with the virtual world. What’s more, the headset also comes with a slot for keeping the controller, thus ensuring that you don’t lose it.
On the content side, Google has partnered Netflix, Hulu, IMAX, NBA, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft for creating special apps for the platform. It has also tied-up with Warner Brothers to bring two new games based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them where the motion controller will transform into a magic wand in the virtual world.