As technology is improving and demand for mobile virtual reality is growing, Google and Chinese company Xiaomi have decided to join the industry. Both companies have released VR headsets alongside a range of compatible mobile phones, making the consumer’s jump into VR easier.
Google have announced the Daydream View, a lightweight headset that is compatible with a range of mobiles, and comes with a remote control. This headset has a soft removable washable inner face-rest, making it easier to keep clean. It has access to a range of games and experiences on the Play Store, and Google will be releasing Daydream compatible content as well. This includes Google Play Movies, Photos, Maps and YouTube 360 videos. The remote is easy to use, with a clickable touchpad, an app button and a home button. It allows the user to navigate through the content and screens, and interact in-game.
The Daydream was released alongside Google’s newest mobile devices, the Pixel and Pixel XL. These Daydream-ready phones are built with VR in mind, featuring high quality displays and processors. They are able to charge quickly, and can easily access content on the Play Store. They have also upgraded the in-built Google Assistant, allowing users to ask the AI questions and navigate their phones hands-free. You can also answer phone calls while the phone is in the headset.
To package the deal, Google have announced that any pre-orders of the Pixel or Pixel XL mobiles will receive a complementary Daydream View. Shipping dates haven’t been confirmed, however the pre-orders start this month.
Xiaomi have been creating mobile phones for the Chinese and Indian market over the past 6 years, and have decided to branch out into the VR market with their latest offering, the Mi VR headset. This headset is lightweight, low-latency and ultra-cheap, and designed to work with a range of mobiles including their own current range. It features 16ms latency and a 9-axis inertial motion controller, meaning it can deal with your movement better and keep motion sickness at bay. The headset has access to a large range of 360 videos, games and apps through the Miui VR app homepage. It also has access to Youku, China’s version of Youtube. And all for only ¥199 (about $30). Unfortunately, it is only available for pre-order in China at the moment, but their Global VP Hugo Barra has mentioned they are looking into shipping outside of China in the future. If this is the case, Google will have some stiff competition.