Google at its ongoing developers conference unloaded tons of new information regarding its augmented reality and virtual reality efforts. During the keynote address, Google confirmed Daydream VR support for Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, apart from detailing an upcoming standalone VR headset. Day two saw Google getting into some more detail regarding Daydream’s next major update which will include features like Web browser and and screen capture features, to name a few.
The Internet search giant spoke about some of the new developments coming to Daydream 2.0, codenamed Euphrates, later this year, which will rollout to Daydream-supported phones and a standalone headset running on Android O. As mentioned on Day 1, Google is working on a standalone VR headset that won’t require a phone. To support this, Google will be adding a 2D panel that will pop up within the virtual environment to bring Android accessibility.
The standalone VR headset is being developed along with Qualcomm and will use the latest Snapdragon 835 processor. It will feature ‘WorldSense’ tracking tech, based on the company’s Tango platform. It will also feature two wide-angle cameras along with motion sensors to detect movement, and according to The Verge, the standalone headset will ship with a Daydream controller.
Another interesting feature coming with Daydream 2.0, which will be powered by Android O, is the ability to screenshot or capture what you see as well as cast your virtual experience on to a Chromecast-equipped TV so that your friends and family can see what you’re seeing. Speaking of shared experiences, Google’s YouTube VR service will be adding shared rooms wherein people will be able to view 360-degree videos together. The feature, which is similar to Oculus Rooms for Gear VR, will allow small groups to virtually come together, watch videos and talk via voice chat.
The next big addition coming to Daydream 2.0 this summer is Chrome VR, which will allow users to browse the Web in virtual reality. You may remember that Google bought an update for Chrome mobile app that supported VR content for Daydream-compatible smartphones and Daydream View headset. Chrome VR, however, will give you a full blown Web browser experience in virtual reality.
Separately, Google is also bringing augmented reality features to Chrome for Tango-supported phones. The company has released an experimental build of Chromium with an AR API for developers who can find it on GitHub. Additionally, Google is also providing developers with two new tools: Instant Preview and Seurat.
Instant Preview will allow developers to make changes on a computer and see them reflected on a VR headset in seconds, making development for VR a lot more faster. Seurat, which is named after a French painter, will let developers render high-fidelity scenes on mobile VR headsets in real time. Google says, without being specific, that you can achieve desktop-level graphics with mobile GPU.
Lastly, the update will look to improve the UI of Daydream platform by adding a new dashboard in VR for quick access to settings and notifications, as well as the ability to switch apps easily.