VR head Clay Bavor took to the stage today at Google I/O to announce that more (unannounced until today) virtual reality features are coming to Android N. Specifically, the company announced the Daydream platform for high quality mobile VR that will be available this fall…
Google has published phone specifications to provide a good virtual reality experience. Specs include specific sensors, displays, and processors. Google says that Samsung, Alcatel, HTC, and more Android OEMs will have devices compatible with the Daydream spec this fall.
There are numerous optimizations for virtual reality coming with Daydream. VR Mode in Android has a focus on low latency, performance, and a VR system UI to allow notifications to come in seamlessly when using a viewer. These improvements are at the core of Android and will allow many devices to be compatible with VR.
As part of Daydream, Google is also releasing a reference design for VR headsets to partners.
An important part of VR with Daydream will be new controller hardware for interactions in games and apps. The Daydream controller is optimized for VR and is very simple with just few buttons and a trackpad. An orientation sensor will allow the controller to do precise motions in a game and to control the VR interface.
As mentioned, all of this is coming later this fall, but Google says that developers can start building experiences for Daydream today. Daydream will be included in today’s release of the Android N Developer Preview, which launches in beta later today.