So that’s the new Pixel, the first phone made by Google, inside and out.
Next up is Clay who will talk to you about VR. But, before that, here’s a recap of all the newness of Pixel.
Clay Bavor – Head of VR at Google
Hi, I’m Clay. I lead the virtual reality team at Google and I am really excited to get to show you some of the things that we’ve been working on. Just to say it: we love Virtual Reality. For us it’s not just a technology, it’s not just another screen. It’s something that we believe is going to be important, because unlike anything else we’ve seen, it can put you some place else. It’s transporting. With VR, you can put on some goggles and feel, viscerally, like you’re in another world. It’s richer, it’s far more immersive, and we believe it will impact how we explore, how we work, how we play, how we learn.
But to create this sense of immersion takes some powerful technology, and my team’s goal is to make that technology simpler, friendlier, and more accessible. And we’ve been hard at work doing just that with Daydream, our platform for high quality mobile virtual reality. Daydream ties together a bunch of things that you need for great VR: Software optimizations, specs for phones, headsets and controllers and then the apps and experiences themselves — all of this in service of creating a healthy VR ecosystem with our partners, and with developers. And today, we’ve got news in all of these areas.
Let’s start with phones. So you just heard about the new Pixel phones, and they’re great phones. And, as Sabrina said, we’ve made them great for VR, too. We’ve tuned everything from their sensors to their displays. And the Pixel phones are the first which are Daydream-ready, as we call it.
Now, of course, you need some extra hardware to unlock the phone’s VR capabilities. So let’s talk about the VR headset. Now the headset is important to get right. I mean, after all it’s something that you wear on your head. But, we looked out there, and we saw some problems. We saw issues with comfort. We saw stuff that’s pretty hard to use, pretty complicated. And, everything just kind of looked the same. So we looked at all this, and we had some ideas. And, we have a bit of a different take on the VR headset. And so I’d like to introduce you to Daydream View. It’s the first Daydream-ready VR headset.
Now if you are into VR, I’ll just say that the specs are there, has a nice field of view and with the Daydream phone, low latency and really accurate head tracking. But we didn’t just look at the specs, we obsessed over the details of the design. We wanted to make something that’s comfortable, and really easy to use. And we also thought about how you could make it your own.
So first, let’s talk about comfort. How it feels, how it fits? You’ll notice immediately that it doesn’t quite look like other VR headsets. And that’s because, in designing it, we weren’t inspired by gadgets. We looked at what do people actually wear? We wear stuff that’s soft, stuff that’s flexible, and breathable. So we crafted our headset out of that same comfortable stuff: Fabrics, soft micro-fiber, and other materials that you’d find in clothing and athletic wear. In fact, we worked with clothing designers and makers to get the design just right. And the result is something that’s soft and cozy, and feels great to wear. So the materials are really nice.
It’s also lightweight – 30% lighter than similar devices. And one other thing. To see comfortably, some people need some help. People like me. So we made sure that the headset fits nicely over eye-glasses. So, that’s comfort.
Let’s talk about making it easy to use. To start, it’s got to be easy to get into VR. You don’t want to think about cables, and wires, and lots of clicky things and connectors that you have to get just right. All that stuff just kind of gets in the way. Really, you just want to pop your phone in and be in VR. And that’s the way Daydream View works. You open the latch, you drop your phone in, you close the latch and you’re ready to go. That’s it. The headset and phone say hello, wirelessly. So there’s nothing to connect. And the headset includes an auto alignment system that gets everything just right. So getting into VR is easy.
We wanted interacting with VR to be easy, too. And that’s where the Daydream controller comes in. Now the controller is really important, because when you go someplace, you want to be able to do things there. So let’s have a look. That’s really easy to use. At the top is a clickable touchpad, a couple of buttons but there is more to it than meets the eye. Hidden inside are a bunch of sensors that respond to how you move. So you can point, you can swing, you can aim. It’s so precise that you can draw with it. You can write your name. So it’s really powerful, and we’ll have a look at some of the things you can do with it in just a second.
Now, what do you do with a controller after you use it? You lose it. You lose it. You lose it in the couch or in the bottom of your bag. We didn’t want that to happen. So the controller has a home inside the headset. When you’re done, it just sort of snuggles in there, like this. And it’s details like these that we’ve worked hard to get right. These little things that — it’s very well built. These little things that make the whole experience easier and more seamless.
So let’s talk about the last problem. Everything kind of being the same. We wanted you to be able to make it yours. And that starts with phones. So the Pixel phones are the first Daydream-ready phones again, and the headset obviously works great with them. But there are a lot of other Daydream-ready phones on the way from our partners, too, and the headset will work with them as well.
And one last thing. Things you wear don’t come in just one color. And we didn’t see why a VR headset should either. So with Daydream View, you’ll be able to choose your color. At launch we’ll have Slate. Later this year, we’ll add two other colors: Snow and Crimson. So that’s Daydream View – a comfortable easy to use VR headset that you can make your own.
Now, of course, what really matters here is what you can do. There’s a lot to show you, and for that, I’d like to invite up Adrienne McCallister, our Director of Partnerships. Adrienne?
Adrienne McCallister – Google Director of Global Partnerships for VR/AR
Thanks Clay. Hi everyone. My name is Adrienne and I lead VR partnerships for Daydream. The team has been working closely with our partners to bring some incredibly immersive experiences to Daydream. And, I’d like to share just a few of them with you today.
With Daydream you’re going to be able to explore some really magical places. And what’s more magical than the Wizarding World of JK Rowling? I’m excited to announce that we’ve been working with Warner Brothers to bring an exclusive Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them experience to Daydream.
In it you are a wizard and the controller transforms into a wand that you can use to levitate objects and cast spells. We’re really stoked about this because don’t we all just want to be wizards. We’re also really excited to bring some great educational experiences to Daydream. One out-of-this-world example. We have been working with makers of Star Chart, an app that lets you explore the solar system and learn all about the constellations. With Star Chart on Daydream it’s like having your own personal planetarium where you can fly through the stars and explore new galaxies.
The stars are also an epic place for space battles and Daydream is going to be a stellar place for games. We’re excited about Gunjack 2 from CCP, the makers of EVE. In it, you’re in the cockpit of a spaceship where you’re defending the fleet against alien ships. You can look all around you, and then use the controller to aim the ship’s lasers anywhere you want to blast those alien ships.