Daydream

Mobile VR: What it needs to succeed

Mobile VR: What it needs to succeed

Last week, the Oculus Go and the Lenovo Mirage Solo launched, both standalone mobile versions of virtual reality platforms. This week at its I/O developers conference, Google will undoubtedly make a case again for its Daydream VR platform, be it powered by smartphones or standalone, almost the poor man's VR experience. None of these are entirely new. From the Google Cardboard to the Samsung Gear VR, mobile VR has been around for as long as "desktop" VR has and yet, unlike its bigger cousin, it has failed to gain long-lasting traction and support. That despite being potentially more affordable. Why has it failed and what does it need to survive and thrive? Here are some points to consider.

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Lenovo Mirage Solo Review: Standalone Daydream VR with caveats

Lenovo Mirage Solo Review: Standalone Daydream VR with caveats

The Lenovo Mirage Solo is making a splash landing in the virtual reality headset market, and it's causing waves both in mobile and traditional VR. One of the small handful of truly standalone headsets, it doesn't demand you slot in your smartphone or plug into a gaming PC. Instead, Lenovo and Google are leveraging smartphone tech and some mighty clever inside-out tracking to give the Mirage Solo its edge - and justify its $400 price tag.

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Google Arts & Culture now lets you explore Earth’s historic locations

Google Arts & Culture now lets you explore Earth’s historic locations

There's no lack of historic locations to visit on out fair planet, but most of them are constantly under threat of disappearing. Whether due to disasters, war, or the eventual killer of all things, time, many of the amazing structures around today will be gone eventually. However, a company named CyArk has dedicated itself to archiving them before that happens. It's possible that you've never heard of CyArk before, but Google has, and now it's making CyArk's impressive maps of these structures and wonders available through its Arts & Culture app.

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Lenovo announces VR classroom set with standalone Daydream headset

Lenovo announces VR classroom set with standalone Daydream headset

Lenovo has officially announced its VR Classroom package, which is designed to bring virtual reality into the classroom and use it as a tool to enhance students' learning experiences. At its core, the set includes Lenovo's recently debuted Mirage Solo with Daydream, the first standalone VR headset on Google's Daydream platform, along with plenty of educational content.

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Plex VR arrives on Daydream with co-watching and drive-in theater

Plex VR arrives on Daydream with co-watching and drive-in theater

Plex has announced support for Google's Daydream platform, enabling home media enthusiasts to access and play their personal movie collection in the privacy of a VR headset. The support follows the launch an unofficial solution for VR headset owners called "Plevr," which Plex says was impressive enough that it decided to bring about official virtual reality support.

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Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream hands-on: VR and the camera to shoot it

Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream hands-on: VR and the camera to shoot it

Right now there are two main types of virtual reality headsets, ones that are tethered to PCs and ones that need a smartphone to work. Either way, such headsets are beholden to another device running the show, which also prevents users from accessing said devices normally. Standalone VR headsets have long been a dream but, as far as Google’s Daydream platform is concerned, that almost failed to take shape. Lenovo has, fortunately, come to the rescue with the new Mirage Solo with Daydream standalone headset that promises freedom in more ways than one.

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Lenovo Mirage Solo is the last standalone Daydream headset standing

Lenovo Mirage Solo is the last standalone Daydream headset standing

There were supposed to be two, but it seems there can only be one, at least for now. HTC has backed out of making Google’s daydream of a standalone Daydream VR headset but Lenovo has not. In fact, that device has just made its way to the FCC, making it more than just a plan. Being an FCC entry, there isn’t much to be gleaned from the docs, but at least we now have a name: the Lenovo Mirage Solo. Hopefully, this sighting won’t just be a mirage as well.

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HTC Vive standalone Daydream headset for the US canceled

HTC Vive standalone Daydream headset for the US canceled

HTC just made a big splash in China, announcing its much-anticipated standalone Vive VR headset for the market. The company, however, had a few unexpected surprises. It announced a new "half platform", the Vive Wave, for the new headset, the Vive Focus. That name was expected to be used for the standalone Daydream headset promised at Google I/O a few months back. Apparently, according to TechCrunch, HTC and Google have decided to scrap that plan even before it had a chance to be born.

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New Daydream View headsets flaunt new colors and texture

New Daydream View headsets flaunt new colors and texture

If you hadn't had your Google Pixel fill yet, here's one more. While Microsoft made a big noise when it "pre-launched" it's Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem, Google's stage time with its new AR and VR platforms was relatively low key. And yet, for those who truly believe that smartphone-based AR and VR are the way forward, the new Daydream View headset offers a much needed improvement in terms of comfort and design.

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Google Daydream View 2 colors and price leak out

Google Daydream View 2 colors and price leak out

Google has just launched ARCore, its not so subtle answer to Apple’s ARKit, but if you thought Google was done with virtual reality, then you don’t know Google at all. It is a company with near infinite ideas and near infinite money to throw at those ideas, whether they end up on store shelves or in the trash bin. So, yes, it seems that Google still has its eyes on virtual reality and might even put out a second gen Daydream View headset that looks prettier, sturdier, and, thus, more expensive.

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ASUS ZenFone AR pre-order starts, Verizon only

ASUS ZenFone AR pre-order starts, Verizon only

While Google and friends were taking their sweet time, Apple opened the floodgates when it released ARKit. It revealed the nifty things that can be created and experienced with nothing but a smartphone, the very same premise behind Google Tango and Daydream. While these two technologies existed for quite a while, they existed in different worlds. Those worlds are finally colliding in the ASUS ZenFone AR, which can finally be yours. That is, if you’re a Verizon subscriber.

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Galaxy S8 and S8+ Daydream support arrives: update rolling out now

Galaxy S8 and S8+ Daydream support arrives: update rolling out now

If you have the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, you can now pop it into Google's Daydream View headset and use it to watch or play virtual reality content. Google announced the new support today, saying that a software update is rolling out to handsets now that brings support. Some Galaxy S8 owners started seeing this support arrive last week before the official announcement was made, but some users still aren't seeing it, and Google says that those users will need to wait a bit longer.

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