Back on earth, for when you want to kick back on the couch and watch something — we’ve been working with the likes of Netflix, HBO, and Hulu to bring their entire entertainment libraries to Daydream. In VR, you can see it all on a big screen, and bring that big screen with you wherever you go.
When you want to turn your attention to current events, The New York Times has been doing important work in VR documentary and news. They’ve told us stories that put us alongside soldiers, and refugees. In VR you see the world from their perspective. It’s powerful journalism brought into virtual reality. These are just a handful of the experiences that are going to be available. Over 50 partners are bringing apps and games to Daydream before the end of the year, and there are hundreds more on the way.
To complement our partners, we’re also bringing “The Best of Google” to Daydream. First, there’s Google Play Movies and their library of shows and films which you can watch on your own big-screen. Then there’s Google Photos, where you can relive your personal memories in a completely immersive way. And then there’s Street View, and YouTube. Let’s take a look.
With Street View in Daydream, you can visit thousands of places in 70 different countries. And we’ve built 150 curated tours of the world’s most amazing places, so you can feel what it’s like to tour the Taj Mahal. There are also some hidden gems in Street View. For instance, you can visit the Faroe Islands and see their beautiful rolling fields from the perspective of a sheep, or as our Faroe Island friends like to refer to it: Sheep View.
And finally there’s YouTube. YouTube on Daydream is amazing. To start, you can access the entire library of YouTube videos — regular videos — and watch them on a cinema-sized screen. Your favorites on YouTube have never looked better or bigger. But where the YouTube experience really shines is with 360 and VR videos, where you’re not just watching a film, you’re in the film. Here is one of my favorites from the London Museum of Natural History. You’re standing in the hall of the museum, looking all around and all of a sudden dinosaurs come back to life right in front of you. I don’t think he’s done yet. In virtual reality he looks even hungrier. It’s just one of the hundreds of thousands of immersive videos on YouTube, and we’re working with YouTube’s creators to bring even more original VR content in the months to come. So, that’s just a glimpse of what’s coming to Daydream from our partners and from Google.
With that I’d like to turn it back to Clay. Thank you.
Clay Bavor – Head of VR at Google
So, that’s the update on Daydream – the first Daydream-ready phones, with the Pixel. A headset that’s really comfortable. A controller that’s powerful and easy to use. And so much to experience. Now all of this will come together in November, when Daydream View and the controller go on sale, together, for $79. So there it is. Our next step in making high quality VR accessible to everyone. We’re really excited about it.
With that, I’d like to turn it over to Mario. Thank you so much.
Mario Queiroz – Google Vice President of Product Management
Hello. I’m Mario. And I lead our product management group within hardware. Let’s talk now about the home. All of us are connected in our homes, more and more through lots of technology, and there’s a lot of opportunity for improving those experiences. Today we are announcing some exciting products as part of our vision for the home, including connectivity, entertainment, and the Google Assistant.
A great online experience begins with great connectivity. Unfortunately traditional routers were not designed for the way we use Wi-Fi in the home today. We’re streaming, gaming, video-chatting, and more, all throughout the house. Last year, we introduced the OnHub router, with TP-Link and Asus as partners, to make connectivity in the home a lot better. We’re continuing to build on this technology for the benefit of the partner ecosystem, including ISPs. And we’ve integrated the latest advances into our own Wi-Fi product.
Today we are excited to announce Google Wi-Fi designed to support the new ways we use Wi-Fi. First, it’s an expandable system to give you much better coverage. Unlike a single central router, multiple Google Wi-Fi points work together to do a much better job of delivering fast throughput to every corner of the home. It’s modular, so you can get the right fit for your home’s shape and size. Simply add Wi-Fi points to expand coverage.
We’ve also designed the hardware to be visually subtle and fit in anywhere in the home, without compromising aesthetics. On top of great coverage we’ve built a feature set called Network Assist that will actively manage and optimize your network, behind the scenes, so you don’t have to figure out how to adjust your router. Network Assist keeps your signal strong, even as you roam throughout the house, by intelligently transitioning you to the best Wi-Fi point and placing you on the right Wi-Fi channel to avoid congestion.
For those times when you do want control of your Wi-Fi network, we make it easy through a companion app. So at my house, for example, it’s sometimes difficult to get my teenage daughters to pause YouTube or Netflix on their computers and come to the dinner table. Well, Google Wi-Fi lets you manage the Wi-Fi access of the your kids. If dinner is on the fable, you don’t have to shut down the router. Just go to the app and simply press pause on their devices for some quality family time.
Google Wi-Fi is going to be available for pre-orders in November and it’s going to ship in early December. Google Wi-Fi is going to retail for $129 for a single-pack. And for larger homes, we are offering a 3-pack for $299. We believe that Google Wi-Fi is going to make a big and immediate improvement in internet connectivity in your home.
Our second product announcement today as part of our vision for the home is in the area of entertainment. We have some exciting news around Chromecast. Last year, we launched two new Chromecast products: the second-generation Chromecast and Chromecast Audio. The feedback was very very positive. Overall watch time has increased 160% since last year. We’ve now sold more than 30 million Chromecast devices, and we’re continuing to innovate on Chromecast to deliver the best streaming experience. So, today we are introducing Chromecast Ultra, our most premium TV streaming device to date. Chromecast Ultra brings everything you already love about Chromecast plus even crisper picture and better performance.
You will now be able to cast your favorite content in up to 4K Ultra HD resolution with HDR and Dolby Vision support. You can get the highest contrast ratio and deepest colors from your favorite TV shows on Netflix, mine happens to be Narcos, popular titles from Vudu and YouTube’s extensive catalogue of 4K videos. And we’re happy to announce that Google Play Movies will be rolling out 4K content in November, supported on Chromecast Ultra. Your shows and movies are going to look really really fantastic.
We’ve also significantly improved performance and reliability. Chromecast Ultra is 1.8 times faster to load content and includes major Wi-Fi improvements to support streams from full HD to Ultra HD without a hitch. Plus, Chromecast Ultra comes with an Ethernet port. It’s integrated into the power adapter so it’s simple to connect.
Just like Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra comes in a small, compact size, so it conveniently hides behind your TV. No extra cable, boxes, or clutter. And of course, Chromecast Ultra includes all of the great content already available on Chromecast. Just cast your favorite entertainment from your phone, tablet or laptop.
Chromecast Ultra is going to be available November for $69. It showcases the next generation streaming technology. And that brings us to Google Home. At Google I/O, we gave a preview of where we plan on taking Google Home in the next few years. Today, we’re going to share with you the details of the product.
As we heard from Sundar, the Google Assistant works across many facets of your life, including at home. Our homes are special and different from other environments. It’s where we spend time with family and friends, it’s where we get a lot of stuff done, and it’s where we relax and unwind. Many times, you can’t or don’t want to reach for your phone — you might be cooking, doing homework with the kids, or simply sitting with friends at the dinner table. So, we’ve designed a product that works in a hands-free way and makes the Assistant available whenever you need it, simply by asking with your voice.