The next phase in Google’s VR strategy starts today.
You can do a lot with Daydream today, but it has been clear since Google’s last developer conference that the company had greater ambitions for its nascent VR platform. Using a lot of the spatial logic the company gained from Project Tango, Google announced an expansion called Daydream Standalone. The goal was a headset that didn’t need a phone because it had its own hardware inside, and instead of standing still like you would with Daydream this headset would allow you to safely walk around.
We learned recently the first Daydream Standalone headset would be made by Lenovo instead of HTC, and now those plans have turned into something real. Meet the Lenovo Mirage Solo, the first Daydream Standalone headset.
Lenovo’s design for the Mirage Solo is wildly different from the all fabric all the time design Google has taken with Daydream up tot his point, and with good reason. This headset contains its own display, battery, cameras, and controls on the side of the headset. That means it needs to distribute weight a little differently in order to avoid feeling too front-heavy.
This is accomplished with a halo-style head strap, similar to what is used with a PlayStation VR and most Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Because the headset is a little larger and heavier than a Daydream headset, this more structured head strap makes the Mirage Solo much more comfortable. And best of all, the is design doesn’t apply any pressure around your eyes.
This particular Daydream Standalone headset is almost entirely white plastic, including the inside. The white plastic on the inside isn’t usually done with VR headsets, because the white can reflect light that sneaks in through the nose gap or through the sides. With black material that light is a lot less noticeable, which is why it is more commonly used. In our brief time with the headset it was clear the white amplified the light leak enough to be noticeable, but the seal against your face is enough that we didn’t experience it much even in a brightly lit room.
Like those other halo-style headsets, you can quickly put the Mirage Solo on and move around without worrying about the headset sliding around. That’s a big deal in this case, because you’re going to want to move around a lot more than you would with a normal Daydream headset. Google’s “WorldSense” capabilities in Daydream Standalone means you are going to be dodging, jumping, and ducking as you interact with new games design for this all-new experience.
The Mirage Solo promises PC-class tracking, but in the demos being offered right now, you’re not doing much in the way of walking around. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to; in fact, in our