Google has been focusing on Virtual Reality ever since they started planning the Daydream VR platform. While they had dabbled in VR with their Google Cardboard initiative, it didn’t seem like they were really dedicated to it until they were planning on launching Daydream. Now that they have their own VR viewer for Daydream compatible devices and they’re reportedly working on a standalone VR headset, virtual reality is important to Google.
To show how dedicated they are to virtual reality, the company launched a new division last year called Daydream Labs. The entire goal was to explore the possibilities of VR and through this they learned what does and what does not work well when someone in immersed in virtual reality. They talked about what they had learned when apps encourage social interaction in VR, and have continued these experiments to see what works well and what doesn’t.
Today, before the Google I/O keynote was scheduled to start, Google published a new Daydream application in the Play Store. Called Daydream Elements, this is an educational application for those who are interested in developing high-quality virtual reality by experiences. Virtual Reality introduces a new set of physiological, ergonomic, and technical challenges that most application and game developers simply aren’t aware of.
So Daydream Elements is a collection of tested solutions that you can try out and even configure for use in your own VR applications and games. The principles covered here include Locomotion, Menus and Virtual Controls, and also Rendering and Lighting. Google says they have more information about these principles and the source code for these VR experiments located at this Google Developers page. But as of right now it goes to a 404 error (likely until Google officially announces it).
Even if you aren’t a developer, you can test out these experiences on your own Daydream compatible device right now. You’ll just be instructed to update the Daydream controller before you can launch the application.