There are a lot of elements that need to be combined in specific ratios in order to come up with the perfect VR headset. Google, with the introduction of Daydream Views, gets two of them exactly right.
In other words, Google’s Daydream View is soft and light. It’s exactly what you want from a VR headset or is it?
Google has lead the cheap virtual reality industry from the front for many years, but it has taken the company a serious amount of time before it finally came up with a VR headset of its own.
Google, the search engine behemoth, announced the company’s first VR headset and it’s calling it Daydream View.
Daydream View is basically a headset that costs around $79 and turns any Google smartphone (more like any compatible Google smartphone) into a virtual reality dream.
Most of you would be familiar with the project since Google first announced the new mobile virtual reality program called Daydream back in May at a Google I/O event.
But if you somehow missed that event and don’t know what we’re talking about here then know that the concept is pretty simple.
Basically, Google has tried to integrate the Daydream-optimized smartphones, like the ones the company introduced a couple of days ago in the form of Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, with a VR headset that automatically switches the Google smartphones to VR mode.
Of course, that only happens when the user actually inserts the Daydream-ready smartphones into the VR headset.
If you’re wondering what type of smartphones will be able to play or rather integrate with Google’s VR headset then Google has got you covered already.
Google announced that the company had selected a set of specifications that it thinks would be able to work with its new VR headset.
These specifications include the smartphone’s processor speed along with display quality. Needless to say, Google expects all smartphone manufacturers to be able to meet these requirements in order to get their smartphones certified as “Daydream-ready”.
In other words, if any smartphone manufacturer wants to run the new VR platform from Google, it will need to fulfill a certain set of criteria.
But most of us only need to look at Google’s latest smartphones to know what those required specifications could be since Google also revealed on its Google Store page that the two new Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL smartphones were actually Daydream-ready smartphones.
Not surprisingly, the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are the world’s first smartphones to have been able to receive Google’s certification of “Daydream-ready.”
As mentioned earlier, the Daydream View VR headset is extremely soft and lightweight. That should make it suitable for people who like to have long sessions with their VR headsets.
Moreover, the Daydream View VR headset looks like it has been created with a very soft, microfiber material that is usually found in clothing and sportswear. Not to mention that the Daydream View VR headset is extremely breathable as well.
The Daydream View VR headset is also 30 percent lighter than any other VR headset that makes use of mobile phones, in the market. That is if you believe everything that Google says.
Moreover, the Daydream View VR headset is also very easy to use, especially when compared to other VR headsets available at the moment.
The other convenient part about Google Daydream View VR headset is that when you open its latch and insert your smartphone into the headset and then close the latch, the inserted smartphone automatically switches its mode and changes it to display virtual reality.
Google Daydream View VR headset also comes with a companion controller which is somewhat like the Wii controller in the sense that it as a clickable touchpad and some buttons on the body for other functions.
Google Daydream View VR headset also utilizes the built-in gyroscope feature which will allow the wearer of the headset to make use of gestures in order to play and interact with games or even to get some work done (whatever that might be) while using the Google Daydream View VR headset.
Perhaps the handiest feature of the Google Daydream View VR headset accompanying controller is that the controller tucks away rather nicely within the Google Daydream View VR headset to avoid giving users storage problems.
Most of you will think that Google Daydream View VR headset might be Google’s answer to Samsung Gear VR. Well, you’re partially right.
The Google Daydream View VR headset is quite similar to Samsung Gear VR as it also uses a compatible smartphone as its display screen.
But, one of the important differences between the two, the Google Daydream View VR headset and Samsung Gear VR, is that Google Daydream View VR headset will ship with a wireless controller that will, in all probability, make the headset more natural in its use.
And let’s take this opportunity to mention that while many users have reported that Samsung Gear VR headset is pretty enjoyable to use, it lacks intuitive controls because of how hard it is for the users to use the touchpad that is installed on the side of the VR headset.
Moreover, the other area where Google Daydream View VR headset gets a slight advantage over the rest of the competition expensive VR headsets is its price.
In other words, Google Daydream View VR headset will cost users $79 a piece. This price obviously does not include the cost of a daydream-enabled smartphone.
But that $79 price tag certainly makes Google Daydream View VR headset a surprisingly cheap steal if we compare it to the amount of money users have to spend for an Oculus or HTC VR headset.
Most of these VR headsets, like Oculus and HTC, cost around hundreds of dollars if not more and don’t forget, they also require a fairly formidable PC as well.
If we compare the Google Daydream View VR headset with Samsung Gear VR then, again, Google Daydream View VR headset wins out since Samsung Gear VR costs around $99 which is about $20 more expensive than Google Daydream View VR headset.
But forget the cheap price of the headset from Google. The simple fact is that, at the moment, Google Daydream View VR headset looks like the best designed VR headset that money can buy in the market today.
Though the question of whether Google will be able to come up with the software that will make Google Daydream View VR headset compete with other VR headsets still remain unanswered.
And we’re willing to bet that the likes of Oculus and Steam will give Google a good run for its money if Google wants to take a share off of the VR headset market.
Enough With VR, Let’s Talk About Google Wifi
First off, there are many “Complete Home Wifi” systems that claim they can replace your wireless router and create a single wireless mesh network that is able to cover your whole home.
But the area where Google WiFi excels is that it simplifies the process of converting your router into a wireless network that is available in every corner of your mouse.
The downside is that you’ll have to install more devices in order to expand coverage.
Sometimes rumors do turn out to be true as that is certainly the case with Google Wifi. A host of rumors had predicted that Google was indeed thinking about giving Wifi routers another shot and hence we now have Google wifi.
So how is it different from other whole-home wireless devices?
Well, for one, the router has been designed completely in-house and has a few things going for it in terms of the advantages it has over other devices such as the ones offered by OnHub.
Google Wifi device is small but its small size doesn’t take an inch away from its ability to build an eero-style mesh network all over your house.
The only thing Google Wifi requires from the user is the addition of extra units to the main network in order to improve the network coverage around the house.
Google Wifi also comes with a Network Assistant application that helps users and essentially makes it super simple to add more routers and hence strengthen the network signal around the house.
Moreover, Google Wifi’s companion software allows users to control all the devices that are linked to the main router.
Users can manually disable or enable their connections easily with the help of Google Wifi companion software.
The only part you aren’t going to like here is that, Google Wifi won’t be available at least until December.
Though it has been announced that Google Wifi will be available for pre-order sometime in November which is about a month away.
Google Wifi routers will set you back about $129 per unit. But Google is offering a sweet deal of three packs for just $299.
With the three-pack, Google Wifi will basically cover your home inch to inch without any problems.
Watch these videos below to get an even better look at Google Wifi.
Now Onto Google Assistant
Google has announced a slew of upgrades to its existing products and most of them, if not all, have one thing common: AI-capability.
And with the launch of the new Pixel smartphones, Google has finally taken full command over its hardware as well.
But that should not distract us from the fact that Google remains a company that is brutally focused on improving its software.
Google’s main area of research and interest is, to no one’s surprise, artificial intelligence and Google Assistant is the central part of Google’s new Pixel smartphones.
And while we’re talking about AI-enabled apps and services, let’s also mention the new Google Allo messaging app along with smart speakers.
What does all that for us users?
It makes the Google experience across all our devices and services, uniform, more secure and useful.
We’ll give you a pass if you thought that somehow all of this sounds strangely familiar. Well, it does sound familiar because Apple has also, somewhat, down the same to its AI-enabled digital personal computer assistant Siri and has integrated Siri to a lot of other Apple services along with third-party apps.
The new upgrades to Google Assistant mean that users will be able to control Google Home smart speaker with only their voice. Not only that, users will also be able to command the new Pixel smartphones from the company along with Chromecast with nothing but their voice.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, said that the goal of the company was to make Assistant universally available.
What does that mean exactly?
It means that in the not too distant future, we’ll be able to use Assistant across all of Google products, services, Chromebooks and any other Android wearable devices.
You can already command Android Wear with the built-in OK Google feature so it should be too hard for the company to introduce Assistant to the device as well.
Google is also working on its Android OS for television and probably laptops as well. If you still haven’t discovered the pattern here, it’s this: Google wants one platform for all possible devices.
And the best part about the whole scenario is that Google is considered a champion of open platforms which is more than what you can say about the “must-have-closed-ecosystem”, Apple.
So what makes Google Assistant so different from others?
Well, in a nutshell, it’s Google’s massive search engine and the fact that almost every business on earth uses at least one of Google’s services which gives it an enormous amount of historical data to refer to and feed it to its machine learning systems.
During the event that took place a couple of days ago, Pichai said that Google intended to build a personal Google for each and every user.
In other words, an Assistant powered by Google’s search engine that knows all about the location of your pictures, emails, and receipts.
It would also know all of your upcoming events along with their locations and of course, the way to get there with the help of, possible, Google Maps.
Google’s massive resources and its prowess in AI development will give it the edge it needs to make Assistant everyone’s digital assistant of choice.