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Daydream in Pixels: Google’s Platform Approach to VR and the Home

Google demonstrated today the value and appeal of the platform approach to new technology. From Daydream VR, to Pixel you can read about what they announced here. Here are a few perspectives to consider:

On overall significance and AI:

  • Google is laying the foundation for a truly revamped ecosystem to move all devices forward, with AI underpinning all services on the phone and in the home. It is solving for connectivity problems with mesh enabled WiFi in the home.

On VR impact:

  • AI could be a game changer for VR as it allows us to skip the tedious launching of apps and think about getting experiences delivered to you as soon as you ask in a highly immersive way. Google cards started a revolution of right-sizing search results for mobile. Imagine what they can do if they could right-size results for VR.

  • Google already has immersive content like Street View and 360 videos on YouTube… and all of your photos. This could get really interesting.

On VR design:

  • Google Daydream strikes the perfect balance for the mainstream consumer – It makes VR not only accessible, but desirable and affordable. Its low cost, highly considered design and growing content library will help it outpace the adoption of $700 headsets that require $1,5000+ gaming rigs.
  • It solves two key VR problems – The design of the Daydream View and the controller is not only sophisticated but with its fabric solution solves two big problems in wearing headsets: breathability and room for glasses.
  • Content with broad appeal – Solid support for HBO, Hulu and Netflix plus YouTube will ensure that it can appeal to anyone.
  • Opportunity areas:
    • Content creation tools: To replicate the trend of explosive gaming content that the iPhone set off in VR, developers will need tools that allow them to easily create and experiment with content.
    • Inclusivity: Finding the right balance between immersiveness and inclusivity remains a challenge to be solved.

On Pixel:

  • The Pixel phone is solid. Good hardware specs with the best (Google) software integration to start delivering consistent experiences that just work. This was formerly the undisputed advantage of Apple, but that shine is fading. Combining hardware, software, AI and the cloud for an experience where users just focus on what they want to do or review and Google will make the task easier to complete.
  • Opportunity area:
    • Screen resolution: This might be the Pixel’s Achilles heel. There was no mention of screen res for the Pixel devices and the VR industry suffers at rendering text.Screen resolution will still be an Achilles heel for the product. There was no mention of screen res for the Pixel devices and the VR industry suffers at rendering text.

On Google Home:

  • Google Home creates a new ecosystem in the home. Unlike Amazon Echo, it works well even if you have more than one. Equally importantly, it unites the Chromecast ecosystem of Google and partner devices.
  • TVs and stereos just got more “magical.” And Apple is suddenly very behind in the home.