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Daydream View is Google’s VR headset – and it costs just £69

Want a low-cost way into VR? Google's got you covered with Daydream View

Google has launched the hardware part of Project Daydream, its move into the world of virtual reality (VR). Daydream View, as the headset is known, works only with the latest Google Pixel phones, but comes at the low price of just £69.

Like Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, Daydream View works by slotting in a phone into the headset – in this case, only Google’s brand-new Pixel phones are supported. Open up the front, slide in the phone, close it, and you’re done. The Pixel automatically senses that it’s “docked” in the Daydream View and you place the headset on your head to begin the VR experience.

Daydream isn’t as sophisticated as a Gear VR, since it features no electronics – no additional sensors and no buttons. Instead, Daydream is designed for comfort with soft fabrics and a shape that is meant to accommodate those who wear glasses. In addition, it weighs less than 200g without the phone in place, making it lighter than the average headset.

All the cleverness is in the phone and the controller that comes with it. The latter is packed full of motion sensors, which Google claims make it capable of detecting extremely precise movements – so precise, in fact, that you can use it to sign your name. Although the controller isn’t positionally tracked, in the way of the HTC Vive’s controllers, it should be accurate enough to approximate hand movements for most purposes.

It’s this controller that gives the Daydream View a big advantage over other low-cost headsets such as Gear VR and Google’s own Cardboard. More importantly, it opens up plenty of options for developers too. On stage, Google demoed a new game based on JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in which you play as a wizard, using the controller as a wand in-game. The company also demoed VR in YouTube, Google Street View and announced that Hulu, HBO and Netflix will all be available in Daydream app form.

Overall, Daydream View looks like an interesting and low-cost entry into consumer VR, and adds an extra reason to take a look at the Pixel phones for your next Android device.

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