September 26, 2016
Having exited beta, Google’s VR platform Daydream is now available to developers who can use the VR SDK to build virtual reality experiences for Daydream-capable phones and headsets. Daydream is already baked into Android 7.0 (Nougat) and can also integrate with Unity and Unreal game engines. Apps to be available at launch include CNN, HBO, Hulu, IMAX, MLB, NBA, Netflix, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as Ubisoft and Electronic Arts games. Daydream was first introduced at Google I/O in May.
According to TechCrunch, the first Daydream-capable phones and the VR headset won’t debut until later this fall, but Google is “working to get apps ready for when it does.” That includes “opening up the Daydream Access Program (DAP)” to interested developers; members will “get the first look at the updates to Daydream’s developer tools” and “be the only ones at first able to push their apps to Google Play.”
When it unveils, Daydream will feature a home launcher and a storefront for VR content. Google VR product manager Nathan Martz reports that the SDK, which is available to all comers on the Daydream developer website, “simplifies common VR development tasks so developers can focus on building their apps” and supports “integrated asynchronous reprojection, high fidelity spatialized audio, and interactions using the Daydream controller.”
The updated developer site also offers “full documentation, sample apps and tutorials, to help those new to VR development.” Native integration with game engine Unity “adds support for features like head tracking, deep linking, and easy Android manifest configuration.”
Improvements in Unreal Engine (UE4) integration include “Daydream controller support in the editor, a neck model, new rendering optimizations, and more.”