Google Daydream View
Really sensible virtual reality solutions for the masses do not yet exist. Google wants to change that with Daydream View . We put on the glasses.
In front of me is a cauldron, on the left next to it three bottles with different liquids. Above the cauldron hovers a recipe. I have to pour the ingredients from the bottles in the right order with my wand into the kettle to brew a potion. Then I go out the door and see a huge monster. I’m about to throw him a chunk of food when I’m tapped. “Hey, when will the daydream view test be finished?” Right, there was something. I’m not in the world of the “Harry Potter” poster “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” but in the editorial board.
In the example above, you’ll notice how well I find Daydream View, Google’s new virtual reality glasses. It is not that new. The concept of using a smartphone as a source for virtual reality has been around ever since the first cardboard that Google distributed on Google I / O 2014. Samsung and Oculus VR have brought the experience then with the “Gear VR” glasses to the premium level.
Comfortable glasses with fabric cover
The problem: The Samsung glasses only works with selected devices of the manufacturer. Google does it differently: Every smartphone with the label “Daydream Ready” works together with the glasses. This includes currently adjacent to the pixel and the pixels XL , the Huawei Mate 9 . The three devices are relatively expensive, but it is not excluded that even cheaper smartphones get the label.
The glasses themselves look a bit different than models of the competition. While plastic predominates elsewhere, Google Daydream View dresses in fabric. This looks funny at first glance, but does not feel so wrong. The interior, so the part that you pull over your nose, is well padded. Wearing is therefore not a pain. With a weight of 220 grams, it is not too heavy. The compartment in which you insert the smartphone closes it with a strong rubber strap. Spacers, also made of rubber, ensure that the device does not slip. And indeed: From the fierce head tilting is at most bad, but the smartphone remains in place. Fine.
The Daydream View also comes with a controller. It’s reminiscent of a Nintendo WiiMote, and it works almost as well: it detects and transmits your movements very precisely. For better navigation in menus, Google also equips it with a touchpad, which also serves as a confirmation button. You connect the controller to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
Only a few apps left in the Play Store
Before you can use the controller, you need to install the Daydream app. It’s almost your gateway to virtual worlds. In a playful walkthrough, you’ll learn how to adjust the sharpness of the goggles, navigate menus, and use the controller. Then you end up in the overview, which is almost a separate VR Android within Android. You have your last used Apps in view, see suggestions from Google, can make settings or install new apps from the VR Play Store – all without the glasses off. Very good and above all simply solved.
The Crux: There is still only a few matching content in addition to Google’s own offerings such as YouTube VR, Google Street View or Google Photos. A highlight is the game described above for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. Here the controller naturally turns into a wand. Other apps like YouTube VR or Google Play Movies, on the other hand, are not a must-have. If you’re not watching a 360-degree video on YouTube, the app just simulates a big screen that’s running a video. That works better on the TV in case of doubt. However, the range of Daydream apps will increase: for example, existing Cardboard apps for the VR glasses will appear.
Of course, the experience graphically and in terms of its size can not be measured by the high-end solutions from HTC or Facebook and Oculus. Because despite the high-resolution display of Pixel XL, which Google has made available to us, the individual pixels are still clearly visible. For a smartphone game in VR you get here, but still offered a lot. It certainly has the potential for ten minutes to dive into other worlds. In addition, there is something that I noticed very positively at Daydream View: I did not get sick. Otherwise, I know that quite differently from VR glasses.
But I would not spend a lot of time with Daydream View at the moment. That is not possible. After a good 15 minutes, our test smartphone regularly issued the warning that things were going to be very hot. And indeed, the temperature of the device has increased significantly. No wonder: after all, the smartphone does not just have to display the picture, but also calculate all movements.
|Supplier / Developer|
|Compatible with||Google Pixel|
|colour||Gray, white, red|
Although I follow the news on the subject of course, Virtual Reality was not really for me so far. Cardboard and the Gear VR are basically just ways to view pictures or videos. High-end goggles like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive are too expensive for me, also because of the system requirements. Daydream View is the perfect middle ground. At 69 euros, the glasses are much cheaper than the Gear VR and with the controller you also get a way to the hand not only to look at photos, but also to play casual games.