While Oculus is losing its position at the mobile market, Google is urging to put a hat under the falling dollars — nature abhors a vacuum. The ending of Oculus Connect 3 was dimmed with the lost of all Note 7 users, even though Gear VR headgear works with other Samsung smartphones. But consumers don’t really care about the details when a new potentially massive product with the Google brand approaches them. Today we are taking a look at the main Oculus Platform competitor — Daydream — and will tell you about its five main features that will allow Google to become the leader on VR market. Google’s vice president on virtual reality Clay Bavor will help us with this by sharing these thoughts at the recent presentation of Pixel and Daydream View.
The controller has no positional tracking but noone cares
As you might have noticed, the original Daydream View controller, which by default is the gold standard for other manufacturers of Daydream devices, has a lot more similarities with Wii Remote than with Oculus Touch. It has a lot of various sensors: inertia module, accelerometer, magnetometer. You can use it for hand gestures but you can’t walk around with it.
While developing the controller Google used a little trick hidden in the software. Daydream uses parallax for imitating the positional tracking.
“We do something similar with the controller,” Bavor said. “So we actually have a wrist and arm model. You can actually set your hand in the setting, left hand, right hand. And from that we can actually create a far more realistic sense of the controller moving in space about you than if we were just kind of treating it as a thing rotating independently in space.”
Social VR won’t be realistic for quite a while, but Google doesn’t care
Google did a good job on socializing VR. Although first public experiments in the field, particularly Google Expeditions, have nothing to do with social networks as we know them and don’t allow communication by itself, Daydream will have all that eventually. But should communication and environment be realistic? This is optional.
According to Bayvor, users care about feeling close to other people: seeing and hearing them, understanding that they have their own place.
“Do you look like you? No. But do I register you as you? Yes. Think about like cartoon caricatures of people. Like you can glance at a well done cartoon and know ‘Oh, that’s Ronald Reagan’ or ‘Oh that’s Marilyn Monroe’. You just know. So actually that kind of avatar representations can be very powerful but we’ve got a long way to go.”
It is not the VR team that creates VR apps, its the whole Google
As Google’s VR team gets bigger, an assumption could be made that it would be responsible for turning all company’s services like YouTube and Street View into VR. This is not true: they all are turned by their respective departments.
Bavor states that he often hears misbeliefs like «YouTube VR is a part of your team» or «Your team develops Photos». But «YouTube team makes YouTube VR, Photos team makes Photos VR, Maps team makes StreetView VR».
“And it’s been one of the really special things about doing this at Google. We had a vision for what more comfortable, friendlier, accessible VR could look like. We knew we had something at this intersection of really high quality, low latency, the tracking, the controller, the headset. And we went to our friends around the campus and said like ‘Hey, Android team? Let’s make this a thing. Hey, YouTube team? Let’s build YouTube VR.’ And just kind of mostly organically, we built this stuff”.
Headgear will be used due to accessibility and content
It is sad but true: many people have their VR headgear collecting dust on their shelves. But the truth is, there is no good content and some of them are difficult to use. Google focused it’s attention at these fields to make Daydream a constant companion of their clients.
“It’s the menu that gets you back again and again and again,” Bavor said. “And for us, literally the first project that we started after Cardboard was JUMP. Why did we do that? Because we knew that the future of VR was going to be mobile. It was going to be something you had with you. We knew that creating VR experiences is hard. Super hard if you’re trying to create a novel 3D world from scratch. But it’s also hard if you’re going to do something with real-world capture, with video. We wanted to make it easy.”
Also vice president mentioned the importance of comfort for acceptance of Daydream by mass user.
We can’t say “OK, Google!” now, but someday…
At Daydream’ presentation the main focus was made on VR, but machine learning and AI are also very importnant for it. According to Bayvor, they will be united in one product, even though it won’t happen right away. Well, maybe soon, but only partly – for example, VR interfaces will receive voice recognition.
Google believes it is possible to interact with a computer as easily as with a cup of coffee or with another person. And an intellectual computer will help us to navigate information much more effectively.
Source: Upload VR