With many recent and upcoming phones now Daydream-ready, Google’s VR platform is beginning to gain traction, especially as standalone headsets are coming later this year. The company has now launched new developer tools for building and learning in VR.

As the name suggests, the Daydream Performance Heads-up Display is an overlay in virtual reality apps to get “at-a-glance visibility into information about frame rate, process memory usage, thermal throttling status, and platform-specific metrics.”

The idea behind this HUD is to monitor key VR performance metrics without having to remove the headset. Google sees the tool being especially useful for understanding how assets affect performance and doing QA checks.

In the same vein, the Instant Preview feature that allows changes from the Unity and Unreal editor to instantly appear in VR without re-compiling is now “faster, smoother, and easier to use.” Additionally, changes can now be synced over Wi-Fi instead of requiring a physical cable between your computer and headset.

Meanwhile, the macOS Instant Preview experience gets a boost thanks to Metal. Other changes in Version 1.1 of Instant Preview include:

  • Controller emulator compatibility
  • See the controller battery level on the rendered controller
  • New streamlined setup process that lets you auto-push the APK to your phone and get started with Instant Preview immediately

Lastly, released at I/O 2017, the Daydream Elements tool for learning the “best practices for immersive design” is adding three new lessons. The new Elements on object manipulation, Constellation menu, and Arm Model demo join the existing six on addressing ergonomic, and technical challenges in virtual reality.


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