Virtual reality is fast gaining traction, and Google is not leaving anything on the table. The increasing prominence of virtual reality is evident in the high volume of VR headsets that have been shipped over the last couple of years, with consumers receiving the product positively. That being said, virtual reality remains essentially an emerging technology, which means VR’s full potential has yet to be unlocked. At least that is what Google’s virtual reality boss Clay Bavor believes in. Google’s Daydream View headset has started shipping on November 10 for $79 and the Daydream app went live on the Google Play Store on the same day. However, that is only part of a broader plan to make Android the dominant operating system for VR.
Speaking with Recode’s Ina Fried at its Code Mobile conference, Bavor said the headset that Google has just launched serves as a primer for bigger things to come to virtual reality. He said 99.9 percent of what VR can actually do has yet to be discovered. At present, virtual reality headsets have yet to become mainstream. Admitting that virtual reality is still in its early days, Bavor noted that their fundamental goal is to help developers and partners create “great stuff.” He added that the full use of VR only starts to be recognized when there are enough people using the device and enough things to do with it, by which he meant Daydream’s focus on video content creation.
The Daydream VR platform will offer video content with YouTube VR, games and the Google Street View service. Google Street View in particular will be an interesting tie-in with Daydream, as it will let users visit popular monuments along with dozens of museums through Google Art and Culture. Google clearly wants Daydream to be compatible with as many phones and headsets as possible, with Android as its primary OS.
But that is not to say Google is not likely to face tough competition in the VR race. Before it can make Android the primary OS for virtual reality, the Mountain View giant needs to take on a number of big names in the arena like Facebook’s Oculus and Samsung Gear VR, both of which have been locking horns with each other for quite some time now.