HTC Vive Standalone teaser

In case you depart expertise out of it, what Google is trying to realize with its new Daydream virtual reality headset appears to violate the legal guidelines of physics. The brand new design will present an expertise comprable to what you’d anticipate from an HTC Vive or Rift, however with none the highly effective PC and exterior sensors these headsets require.

However Silicon Valley believes expertise is the reply to many unsolvable issues, and Google provided extra particulars concerning the new Daydream design’s technological breakthroughs at its I/O builders convention on Thursday. The silver bullet seems to be a mixture of software program and improvements Google is asking “WorldSense.”

“WorldSense eliminates one of many main variations between smartphone and desktop VR immediately,” Google engineering director Johnny Lee mentioned on stage at I/O.

Primarily based on improvements already developed for the Tango platform, WorldSense begins with two wide-angle cameras mounted to the headset that continuously scan the bodily room, detecting objects and monitoring their positions over time. Its information, together with that of extra place trackers and a depth sensor embedded within the headset, are then despatched to a cellular on-board processor with a delay of about 5 milliseconds.

The result’s that the brand new Daydream headset will acknowledge your place in the true world and feed it to the online game or different digital actuality app you are utilizing nearly instantaneously. Smartphone-based headsets like the present Daydream View or the Samsung Gear VR cannot do this, and the Vive and Rift each require a connection to a devoted exterior PC with a high-end graphics card to perform it.

Standalone vs. Phone vR

Since nobody exterior of Google and its engineering companions has really skilled the brand new headset (they’re coming later this 12 months from HTC and Lenovo), the massive unknown is whether or not or not transferring all that processing to the headset will end in decrease resolutions or different high quality hits, like a brief battery life. Google did not provide many particulars to assuage these issues, but it surely steered that upcoming software program enhancements will increase effectivity.

These enhancements will culminate in model of the Daydream platform, codenamed Euphrates, in accordance with Director of Daydream Challenge Administration Mike Jazayeri. Euphrates might be constructed into the upcoming Android O working system, which has a brand new window supervisor and entry to the system person interface accessible from a standalone VR headset—no smartphone required.

It would additionally let sport builders recreate scenes initially written for desktop PCs, simplifying them in order that they are often displayed in a VR headset with a fraction of the processing energy required to show them on a pc. That innovation known as Seurat, after the French painter, and means scenes that used to take an hour or extra to render will be rendered in simply milliseconds utilizing a cellular GPU.

“Highly effective additionally requires highly effective software program,” Jazayeri mentioned on stage at I/O. However each of these issues require folks to truly use them to achieve success, and VR’s restricted attraction—it is principally the realm of hardcore video players—is the impediment that Google and everybody else is attempting to maneuver past.

So Daydream will function a number of enhancements designed to whet mainstream appetites, together with the power to solid what your headset is at present displaying to your TV by way of Google Chromecast and save screenshots to point out all of your non-VR buddies what they’re lacking. And in the event you’re not into gaming, you will additionally quickly be capable of watch YouTube movies in digital rooms together with your Daydream headset-wearing buddies.

Your move, Facebook.