The one year anniversary of Google's Daydream VR platform is nearing. Yet despite its teasers and its own potential, the support of the industry for the platform has not been a strong one. As a matter of fact, only a few Android devices right now support Google's VR platform, namely the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, ZTE’s Axon 7, and Motorola’s Moto Z and Moto Z Force.
On the recent earnings call with Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, Google CEO and board member, shared that they have big plans for the VR platform. Pichai shared that there will be a total of 11 devices that will support the VR software before the year ends. Among the devices that will be Daydream ready include the ones manufactured by the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Asus, and LG.
So what other devices should we expect Google Daydream VR to be compatible with? Well, apart from the five earlier mentioned, the platform has already been announced on devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, Huawei’s Mate 9 Pro and Porsche Design Mate 9, and Asus’ Zenfone AR. This makes the entire count 10. There is no word right now on which model will be the 11th Daydream ready device mentioned by Pichai. According to 9to5Google, there is a chance it could be HTC’s U11 since both Google and HTC have already formed a partnership in the past. CNET, on the other hand, thinks it could be the successor to LG’s V20.
Perhaps right now, the only clue we have right now is that the next device should be running on the latest Android OS update. Since Daydream is a feature offered by Android Nougat, the phones that carry the VR platform need to run on Android 7.1. Not only that, a Daydream ready phone needs to meet a strong requirement on its display and speed. With such requirements, it may take manufacturers a long time before they can make a Daydream ready budget smartphone.
Google definitely has to step up its Daydream VR platform availability or risk getting left in the dust by other companies' plans. For one thing, Apple has already made its ARKit augmented reality platform available to numerous developers. Knowing that they have been teasing the abilities of ARKit on their social media accounts, it is definitely going to catch on and feed the hunger of its market. Although ARKit is not the same as a VR headset, Daydream could be facing a very strong competitor in a matter of time.
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