There has been a lot of talk about what Google’s next step in VR will be. It has been speculated that «Android VR» will be some sort of standalone Hololens-like headset, or something that you have your phone connected to your own display. It turns out that what Google was actually planning is much more in line with what the company has already stressed, that it’s so important to VR that anyone can enjoy it. The announcement of Daydream as the next step for VR at Google surprised many, but after more explanation from the VR session at Google I/O, it’s clear that Google’s plans are much bigger than what might seem like a simple upgrade to Cardboard.

Here’s what we know so far.

Hardware: VR for many, but not all


Google’s announcement for Daydream included the idea that phones must meet some sort of minimum system requirements to be considered Daydream Ready. Phones that wanted to be able to run Daydream had to offer a top-of-the-line processor, a display capable of significant low persistence, and high-end sensors for accurate head tracking. This means that Daydream-compatible phones will initially only be flagships, and they will need to be more capable than anything we currently have on the market. Google is touting the Nexus 6P as the only reference phone developers can work with until the corresponding reference hardware is released, and it’s been pretty clear on the Daydream developer site that real Daydream phones will be more powerful and feature-packed.