Peeking Ahead at Google I/O: Daydream & Project Tango

Alexis Macklin, Research Manager Augmented Reality, Augmented Reality Intelligence Service, Devices & Technology, Head-Mounted Displays, Insight Articles, Virtual Reality, Virtual Reality Intelligence Service

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Rumors are swirling in anticipation of Google I/O and what Google will reveal next, but at the forefront of conversation is latest developments in VR. Of their latest developments, we anticipate that two of them will be of particular interest and impact - Daydream and Project Tango.



Google has been rumored to be releasing a standalone VR headset that will not rely on a connection to a smartphone, called Android VR. This morning, Google announced a hardware and software platform that will allow any Android smartphone manufacturer to create a VR headset for themselves. While Google Cardboard is a leader in accessible VR experiences, the addition of creating the standard for mobile VR could propel Google in competition with Sony (PlayStation®VR), Facebook (Oculus) and Samsung (HTC Vive), in addition to bringing consumer VR mainstream at a quicker pace. The rumors expected Google’s release of a standalone HMD to be wireless, which all other HMDs lack. Currently, their Daydream concept is just a sketch, though the current expectations from Google lead us to assume a smartphone with a VR component, a lightweight headset and a Google designed motion controller.  

This could be the door that the VR industry needs to open. Industry standards are still up in the air. With Google supplying manufacturers the tools to operate under the same set of standards, puzzle pieces to understanding and developing VR might begin to come together at a much more steady pace.

Project Tango

Project Tango.pngsource: Google

Project Tango is Google’s project to give smartphones depth sensing capabilities. The addition of Project Tango to Android N devices would enable users to interact with the virtual world much like we do in reality, by using our hands and walking around . The sensors can track the space around the tablet in real time which gives the consumer real controls in VR comparable to real movement. Project Tango has been an ongoing project with developers already building content with a developer’s kit.

For consumers and developers interested in VR, Project Tango would be a powerful addition,giving users the capabilities of positional tracking in VR without the need of a powerful PC or tracking cameras to map movement.

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