Google Talks About the Certification Process for Daydream at CES 2017
The virtual reality market has been booming in the past few months thanks to the success of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Other companies are hoping to expand virtual reality to broader markets by introducing cheaper alternatives to the high-end, gaming centered VR products.
Google debuted their Daydream VR platform last year at Google I/O 2016, and they immediately began working on rules and guidelines that other companies should follow. This involved creating the Google Daydream Labs division which requires smartphone OEMs to have their device certified for the platform.
Google learned the hard way that OEMs will not always work to ensure their hardware performs in a satisfying way for the consumer. Thus, the company sought to introduce stricter rules that their partners would have to follow in order to be certified for the Daydream VR platform. To have a phone certified for Daydream, it must feature several hardware components and needs to pass a number of tests, most of which were outlined in the Android Compatibility Document for Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat.
At CES 2017, Google opened up a discussion regarding the certification process for smartphones to be Daydream VR ready. A big focus with Daydream hardware is the perception of lag, and Google’s Amit Singh states one of the goals is to reduce the motion to photon latency into the 22ms-25ms range. This latency builds up from components such as the display, the sensor, and even the hardware, so there are multiple ways an OEM can reduce the latency and thus reduce perceived lag. Naturally, Google would prefer OEMs implement certain hardware that is proven capable for VR, but the company will make exceptions if the OEM is willing to cooperate and optimize their hardware for Daydream VR.
This is most evident in the recent announcement that the Mate 9 Pro and Mate 9 Porsche Design have become Daydream VR certified smartphones. There are currently three main requirements right now for Daydream certification: a GPU with the power to handle VR content, Android 7.0+, and an OLED panel. However, Mr. Singh states that Google is working with Huawei and some other companies to determine if some non-OLED panels can eventually be made feasible for Daydream VR.