Google says Daydream VR probably isn't compatible with today's best phones

Google says Daydream VR probably isn't compatible with today's best phones
One of the many interesting announcements at Google I/O was the Daydream VR plans. Google laid out the hardware requirements and performance necessary for VR to be viable on mobile devices. Unfortunately, the requirements Google put forward may be too high even for the best phones on the market today.

Clay Bayvor, Google's head of VR, said flat out that "there will most likely not be any ‘retroactively’ Daydream-ready phones" and that the best option for those out there who want a Daydream-ready phone would be to "hold off for a few months" in order to make sure your device is ready for VR. Of course, developers still need something to work with so Google does recommend the Nexus 6P for development purposes, but even Google's flagship apparently won't be compliant for the consumer-facing VR experience. 

The reason for the trouble is that Google wants to make sure devices are unquestionably ready for VR, because otherwise it would not only pull users out of the experience, but it could contribute to motion sickness. So, devices need to have very high resolution displays with ultra fast refresh times in order to minimize latency, and motion tracking also needs to be finely tuned to make sure the on-screen experience follows you in the real world. 

source: Road to VR via 9to5Mac

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33 Comments

1. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Well this is disheartening. I am not particularly fond of VR, but my co-workers and GF really find it fascinating. A few of them own S7s and were really hoping Daydream would be available to them without buying more new hardware. Sadly that doesn't appear to be the case. I'm waiting on the consumer version of HoloLens (I know it's not VR but AR/MR) so I can watch flicks without "interruptions" (wink..wink) ;D.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Hololens is over $3000 for the developers unit. VR is a lot cheaper. If Hololens doesn't come down in price, then Hololens will stay a niche product. As it stands today VR is pretty good with mobile devices. The Gear VR is good, plus I like the LG 360 VR. Not to mention there is inexpensive plastic versions of Cardboard which offer a good experience.

10. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I know HoloLens is expensive at the moment, but developer units tend to cost a great deal more than retail units. I'd expect it to be priced anywhere from $500-700 USD when the consumer edition is unveiled.

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

HoloLens is fully stand alone It has its own Intel Atom SoC (Cherry Trail for the dev unit) and its own custom Holographic Processing Unit accelerator I'd expect the 2017 consumer edition to start at least $999, if not $1499

13. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Tried VR on S7 using the gear VR played with it every night a few hours for a full week. Its currently the best VR experience on mobile and its still tottal crap. My gaming laptop coupled with HTC vive is like 20 times better. I dont expect mobile VR to have same resolution but right now even with quad hd screen the pixel are so zoomed it its look like i am playing at like 640p or something... its horrible. Maybe with a real 4k screen its will give a bit more but i dont expect it to beat the resolution on current real VR device. Sure price is higher for Real VR so yeah this can be a cheap alternative but its certainly not for me.

28. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Clearly you don't know what you are talking about. The resolution on the HTC Vive is 1080x1200 per eye. Whereas the Gear VR is 1280x1440 per eye. So don't feed bull$hit lies. I have used both and the Vive is faster and it can handle 90fps vs the Gear VR can only handle 60fps.

2. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

How's samsung doing it then

3. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

How's Samsung doing what exactly?

5. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Some games have lower requirements some has higher, it's same for any OS or software. Google's VR platform is more of a highend thing where Samsung's is more of a mobile experience. Anyway, Samsung always tries to push newer technology way before anyone else does it. Sometimes they succeed, Note series is just a good example, sometimes they don't, some features of the older galaxies would be another example.

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

That's just it Google is trying to push the bar with VR. As it stands today, you can get a really good VR experience with the Gear VR or others like LG 360 VR. Even Cardboard is pretty good. If you want higher resolutions with faster frame rates, then you need faster CPUs, GPUs with more ram. There is nothing wrong with 2k displays. However you can still see the pixels. A 4k display would be better for VR. But in order to drive a 4k display at a constant 60fps would tax any Processor, let alone a mobile processor. As it stands today, some VR games and experiences are great with a 2k display or even less.

11. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Just a random question here, but how much more processing power would a mobile CPU/GPU need to maintain those frame rates at that high a resolution? It seems rather difficult to fathom 60 fps on a 4k screen without graphics card level power.

14. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

thats would be pretty hard and show the limitation of this kind of VR. HTC vive or oculus by example dont need 4k resolution because the pixel are not zoomed in like on gear vr ect. So unless they make a standalone VR headset thats connect to your phone ( so its have its own screen and full hardware can even include its own GPU and CPU to remove load from the smartphone. ) its dont worth it. Sure its will cost more as i said earlier but its will work whitout giving you headach after a few hours of using it. Kiko007 even current gen gaming PC can have a hard time pushing 4k resolution at 60 fps and they are like 10-20 faster than best smartphone around.

15. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

So you mean 10-20x faster? Jesus! I agree with you, the headsets themselves should have standalone hardware to compensate for the lack of power a smartphone has. But I didn't think the gap was that wide between Mobile gaming and PC quality gaming. I can't see how Daydream is going to change that, unless it comes with hardware as mentioned.

17. Shocky unregistered

You can still see the pixels on Oculus and Vive, slightly more so on the Vive. So don't try and say they don't need any improvement in resolution because they definitely do. You've obviously never tried them.

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5695; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

"HTC vive or oculus by example dont need 4k resolution because the pixel are not zoomed in like on gear vr ect." What do you mean by that? Both the Vive and Oculus have lens which "zoom in"

19. Shocky unregistered

It just means the graphics will be fairly basic compared to desktop solutions. Resolution is just one of many factors to consider, developers will have to be a little more creative. It's actually quite impressive what some of them of done in Gear VR titles already considering the hardware being used, hardware will undoubtedly be faster next year and the software better optimized and get the most out of this hardware. This is still relatively new so lots of work to be done, will be interesting to see what Google bring to the table.

7. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Google is aiming to set a standard for its Daydream platform. Just because other phones can currently do VR doesn't mean they meet the minimum requirements for Daydream. You can still have a budget phone run some form of VR experience, it just won't do it with Daydream and will almost certainly not have as high of a quality experience as you might get with the platform Google is currently working on.

20. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

There won't be a big enough jump in smartphones between now and MWC next year. The most powerful devices at the end of this year will most likely be the Galaxy Note 6 and the iPhone 7, and those won't be that much more powerful than what is on the market now. It sounds like Google is trying to oversell the next Nexus, which you can bet will not be as powerful as the GN6 or iPhone 7.

24. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I think it is entirely possible that processing power has little to do with Daydream restrictions and more in the lines of adequate motion sensing hardware. Reading about Google's intentions with Daydream, they seem to be focused in ensuring that latency is kept as low as possible seeing as it can ruin the VR experience. The Nexus 6P had the Sensor Hub that was used exclusively to track motion without utilizing the main processor, It's quite possible that Google could have a similar unique chip designed to ensure that their minimum requirements are met for Day Dream.

30. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The Snapdragon 830 is a leap forward. Especially since its ram throughput supports 58.6 gb/s. Plus the 10nm SD 830 has 8 cores, and 4 of its cores are clocked at 3.6 ghz, and it's other 4 cores are clocked at 2.8 ghz. It's GPU is an Adreno 540. This is faster than an Intel i5 6th gen Processor which has a maximum throughput of 34 gb/s. I am amazed at people always thinking that Mobile processors are never going to reach speeds of the desktop. The SD 823 is definitely coming out in the new Note in the fall. It's fairly fast, but the SD 830 is a leap.

8. hado86

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Wow! So Google like the speculation around the iPhone 7s is telling us we should save our money for next year! Ok

9. KingSam

Posts: 1449; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

I'm wondering if this will affect regular vr development (cardboard apps for low-midrrange) or will developers abandon that in favor of daydream.

31. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You can still code for Cardboard apps, and they will run on daydream. So why would you stop. There is no need to.

12. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Those type of VR using phone as screen and main hardware are crap. We need real VR like on PC not crappy thing thats zoom pixel!

18. Shocky unregistered

Lets not mess around, the only reason you're here is because you hate Samsung and will say anything negative you can about their products, Samsung first with mobile VR and guess want the anti Samsung HTC fanboy hates it. You are pathetic.

23. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

For God sake, the HMD is just $99 and the phones itself are not for VR. Just buy Vive or Oculus ones. Just pray the next Samsung phone built for VR. Or on your case, its Motorola.

25. Shocky unregistered

Just buy Vive or Oculus? Really? The hardware itself is £700 and PC to power it around £1000. That's allot for considering the hardware is far from perfect, sadly it's probably going to be another year before we have a decent vr expereience. The mobile options are great value in comparision.

26. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I agree about the great for the value experience, but I disagree with you on the statement that it'll take a year for quality VR experiences for the Oculus and Vive to arrive. Granted we are at the mercy of game developers, but I've seen so many mods of current games that applied VR perspectives that completely changed the experience. Portal 2 is one example where you can take an existing game, put minimal effort into porting it to the new platform and everyone would buy it, even if they already have it in their library. Who knows if Valve or other developers intend to do this, but it would be a great investment as the games are already completed, they would just a little tweaking.

27. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Then if you are not satisfied VIRTUALLY, just do everything you want DIRECTLY. Its more worth of your money.

16. max1c

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

wtf I'll be pretty disappointed if my GS7E isn't going to be compatible with it...

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