Google details Daydream VR hardware requirements

Google's Daydream View virtual reality goggles are now available at Google's store. That's well and good for owners of Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, but how about devices from other manufacturers? The latest compatibility document for Android specifies what a phone needs in order to be compatible with Google's latest foray into VR.

Starting with the display, Daydream-compatible phones need a screen with a diagonal larger than 4.7" but smaller than 6". That screen needs to update at 60Hz. In addition to having response time under 3 ms, the display also needs a low-persistence-mode in which pixels emit light for less than 5 ms. Google says that 1080p screens are okay, but recommends that manufacturers use 1440p resolutions or higher.

The compatibility document doesn't list specific chips, but the SoC inside a Daydream-compatible phone must have at least two physical cores capable of simultaneously decoding two instances of 60 FPS video. Additionally, the device must support OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan, and Bluetooth 4.2. The phone should also have a full fleet of sensors, including one to monitor the surface temperature of the device in addition to the expected gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer sensors.

Finally, Daydream VR requires Android Nougat. This requirement alone will delay compatibility for devices that might otherwise meet these specifications, as carriers aren't always that quick to roll out Android updates. However, despite receiving the Android 7.0 update, the Nexus 6P apparently isn't compatible with Daydream VR. Google posted instructions for turning the 6P into a Daydream development kit, but noted that the phone quickly gets too hot to run VR apps. There's a possibility that other phones with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 SoC will likewise suffer from thermal throttling under the same circumstances.

Few smartphone manufacturers have made announcements about Daydream VR compatibility. Months ago, ZTE announced that its Axon 7 phone is compatible, and rumors are swirling about LG's V20 smartphone. For the moment, however, users interested in Daydream are going to have look primarily at Google's new Pixel phones.

Comments closed
    • lycium
    • 3 years ago

    I hope the One+ 3 makes the cut once its Nougat update is out.

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t, unless they do something terribly stupid with the OS implementation.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Seems unlikely. This is older, but I remember reading it previously.

        [url<]http://www.roadtovr.com/google-existing-smartphones-unlikely-to-qualify-daydream-ready-android-vr-specifications/[/url<]

          • DancinJack
          • 3 years ago

          I dunno, seems kinda arbitrary. The OP3 seems to meet the specs. Albeit with a “lowly” 1080p screen.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            I wouldn’t be 100% surprised if some phone was retroactively “blessed”. Do they want this market to take off or not?

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Because part of the requirement is better sensors, to reduce the problem of positional drift on standard Cardboard.

        The 6P isn’t even getting Daydream, it was only a dev test platform for it. Don’t expect it from the OP3.

          • DancinJack
          • 3 years ago

          That’s because the 6P had an 810. The OP3 uses a SD820 SoC, it should have everything required…

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            SD820 has nothing to do with, say, a display with 3ms or less latency and 5ms or less persistence. There are requirements other than the SoC.

            • DancinJack
            • 3 years ago

            So it was sensors and now it’s the screen?

            All I am saying is that right now there is nothing outwardly obvious that would disqualify this particular device from gaining certification.

      • psuedonymous
      • 3 years ago

      Doesn;t look like it meets the following hardware requirements:

      – No low-persistance display driving mode

      – No not-shit IMU

      – No sustained-performance mode (One+3 thermally throttles like the majority of phones)

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