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Image: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters
Google has finally brought to India its Daydream View virtual reality (VR) headset, which it launched alongside its Pixel smartphone in October last year. The headset — designed and developed at Google — is available on Flipkart, India’s biggest online marketplace, for Rs 6,499 with some early-bird discounts.
Basically, the headset involves a pair of lenses through which one views a compatible smartphone loaded with Daydream, Google’s VR software app, to see video, play computer games and use other VR-ready apps in an immersive 3D view. Google’s Daydream view is accompanied by a remote controller of sorts, which one uses for scrolling, re-centering the VR view on the screen and so on.
The gadgets are loaded with sensors that can detect motion and gestures, so users can use them for various functions in the VR apps and games they load on their smartphones. The housing for the lenses in Daydream View is made of a soft fabric, and a facepad inside completely comes off so it can be washed. The headset also has a small slot into which one can slide the controller where it will be held snugly by an elastic band, making it easier to pack the combination, as well as to not lose the controller.
“Our aim is to make the VR experience mobile so that customers can easily carry it anywhere with them. We are also working with developers, smartphone companies, and content creators to make VR accessible to all,” Clay Bavor, vice president for virtual reality and augmented reality at Google, said in a press release.
For instance, one can use Google’s Street View software to see curated tours of over 150 of the world’s most famous monuments, landmarks and places, such as the pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal. Or take a virtual flight over a city, stand atop mountain peaks or tour world-famous museums and galleries. And watch movies, of course.
Apps and games on Daydream include NYT VR, Guardian VR, The Turning Forest, Labster: World of Science, Netflix VR, Google Play Movies, Within, Fantastic Beasts, The Arcslinger, Wonderglade, Mekorama VR, Gunjack 2: End of Shift, Need for Speed No Limits VR, LEGO BrickHeadz Builder VR, Google said in its press release.
In addition to Pixel, Daydream View can be used with other compatible smartphones, including the Moto Z and the Samsung S8, and a full list of such handsets is available on Google’s website.
Google had earlier released a simple, but more fun, do-it-yourself VR headset that anyone could make out of cardboard, back in mid-2014. Google posted instructions as well on its site. That headset was called Google Cardboard, and people using phones running Google’s Android operating system could go for it.