Author Archives: Clay Bavor

Project Starline: Feel like you’re there, together

People love being together — to share, collaborate and connect.  And this past year, with limited travel and increased remote work, being together has never felt more important.


Through the years, we’ve built products to help people feel more connected. We’ve simplified email with Gmail, and made it easier to share what matters with Google Photos and be more productive with Google Meet. But while there have been advances in these and other communications tools over the years, they're all a far cry from actually sitting down and talking face to face.


We looked at this as an important and unsolved problem. We asked ourselves: could we use technology to create the feeling of being together with someone, just like they're actually there?

To solve this challenge, we’ve been working for a few years on Project Starline — a technology project that combines advances in hardware and software to enable friends, families and coworkers to feel together, even when they're cities (or countries) apart.

Imagine looking through a sort of magic window, and through that window, you see another person, life-size and in three dimensions. You can talk naturally, gesture and make eye contact.

To make this experience possible, we are applying research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression. We've also developed a breakthrough light field display system that creates a sense of volume and depth that can be experienced without the need for additional glasses or headsets.

The effect is the feeling of a person sitting just across from you, like they are right there. 

A breakdown of how Project Starline works from 3D imaging to real-time data compression to 3D display.

Key breakthroughs include 3D imaging, real-time compression and a 3D display.

One of the things we are most proud of is that as soon as you sit down and start talking, the technology fades into the background, and you can focus on what's most important: the person in front of you. 


Project Starline is currently available in just a few of our offices and it relies on custom-built hardware and highly specialized equipment. We believe this is where person-to-person communication technology can and should go, and in time, our goal is to make this technology more affordable and accessible, including bringing some of these technical advancements into our suite of communication products.

A man sitting down using Project Starline.

Project Starline being used in one of our Google offices.

To start that journey, we’ve spent thousands of hours testing Project Starline within Google as we connected colleagues between the Bay Area, New York and Seattle. We've also been conducting demos with select enterprise partners in areas like healthcare and media to get early feedback on the technology and its applications. We’re planning trial deployments with enterprise partners later this year.


We’re really excited about the progress we’re making with Project Starline, and the technology’s potential to solve the important problem of wanting to be together with someone even when you physically can’t. We look forward to sharing more later this year.

Project Starline: Feel like you’re there, together

People love being together — to share, collaborate and connect.  And this past year, with limited travel and increased remote work, being together has never felt more important.


Through the years, we’ve built products to help people feel more connected. We’ve simplified email with Gmail, and made it easier to share what matters with Google Photos and be more productive with Google Meet. But while there have been advances in these and other communications tools over the years, they're all a far cry from actually sitting down and talking face to face.


We looked at this as an important and unsolved problem. We asked ourselves: could we use technology to create the feeling of being together with someone, just like they're actually there?

To solve this challenge, we’ve been working for a few years on Project Starline — a technology project that combines advances in hardware and software to enable friends, families and coworkers to feel together, even when they're cities (or countries) apart.

Imagine looking through a sort of magic window, and through that window, you see another person, life-size and in three dimensions. You can talk naturally, gesture and make eye contact.

To make this experience possible, we are applying research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression. We've also developed a breakthrough light field display system that creates a sense of volume and depth that can be experienced without the need for additional glasses or headsets.

The effect is the feeling of a person sitting just across from you, like they are right there. 

A breakdown of how Project Starline works from 3D imaging to real-time data compression to 3D display.

Key breakthroughs include 3D imaging, real-time compression and a 3D display.

One of the things we are most proud of is that as soon as you sit down and start talking, the technology fades into the background, and you can focus on what's most important: the person in front of you. 


Project Starline is currently available in just a few of our offices and it relies on custom-built hardware and highly specialized equipment. We believe this is where person-to-person communication technology can and should go, and in time, our goal is to make this technology more affordable and accessible, including bringing some of these technical advancements into our suite of communication products.

A man sitting down using Project Starline.

Project Starline being used in one of our Google offices.

To start that journey, we’ve spent thousands of hours testing Project Starline within Google as we connected colleagues between the Bay Area, New York and Seattle. We've also been conducting demos with select enterprise partners in areas like healthcare and media to get early feedback on the technology and its applications. We’re planning trial deployments with enterprise partners later this year.


We’re really excited about the progress we’re making with Project Starline, and the technology’s potential to solve the important problem of wanting to be together with someone even when you physically can’t. We look forward to sharing more later this year.

Introducing the first Daydream standalone VR headset and new ways to capture memories

Back in January, we announced the Lenovo Mirage Solo, the first standalone virtual reality headset that runs Daydream. Alongside it, we unveiled the Lenovo Mirage Camera, the first camera built for VR180. Designed with VR capture and playback in mind, these devices work great separately and together. And both are available for purchase today.

More immersive

The Mirage Solo puts everything you need for mobile VR in a single device. You don't need a smartphone, PC, or any external sensors—just pick it up, put it on, and you're in VR in seconds.

The headset was designed with comfort in mind, and it has a wide field of view and an advanced display that’s optimized for VR. It also features WorldSense, a powerful new technology that enables PC-quality positional tracking on a mobile device, without the need for any additional sensors. With it, you can duck, dodge and lean, step backward, forward or side-to-side. All of this makes for a more natural and immersive experience, so you really feel like you’re there.

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Lenovo Mirage Solo

With over 350 games, apps and experiences in the Daydream library, there's tons to see and do. WorldSense unlocks new gameplay elements that bring the virtual world to life, and more than 70 of these titles make use of the technology, including Blade Runner: Revelations, Extreme Whiteout, Narrows, BBC Earth Live in VR, Fire Escape, Eclipse: Edge of Light, Virtual Virtual Reality, Merry Snowballs, and Rez Infinite. So whether you’re a gamer or an explorer, there’s something for everyone.

Point and shoot VR capture


Alongside the Mirage Solo, we worked with Lenovo to develop the first VR180 consumer camera, the Lenovo Mirage Camera. VR180 lets anyone capture immersive VR content with point and shoot simplicity. Photos and videos taken with the camera transport you back to the moment of capture with a 180 degree field of view and crisp, three-dimensional imagery.


There’s no better place to relive your VR180 memories than in the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset. And with support for VR180 built into Google Photos, you can easily share those moments with your friends and family—regardless of what device they have.

30_Rigel_Hero_Front_facing_right.jpg

Lenovo Mirage Camera

We can’t wait for you to try out the Lenovo Mirage Solo and Mirage Camera to dive into new immersive experiences, and to start capturing your favorite moments in VR.


Memory machines: VR180 cameras, and capturing life as you see it

When I was growing up, my dad and even my grandfather always had camcorders stuck to their shoulders. They were our family documentarians, and were always the first to try a new gadget or gizmo if it would help us remember the places we went and the special times we shared. Decades later, I’m so grateful, and I treasure the memories they captured on Betamax and film.

cbtl1
My grandfather Henry in the backyard with his video camera.

We care about photos and videos because they connect us with important moments, special trips, and time together with the people who matter most to us. They’re abstract representations that help us remember—little visual gifts to our future selves. That being said, for most of the 20th century, photos and videos were the best you could do. They’re better than nothing, but so far from the real thing.

cbtl2
A photo of me at Disneyland at age 4, taken by my dad with a Nikon EM 35mm SLR.

But as the technology used to capture these moments has improved, the fidelity has also increased. From primitive pinhole cameras, to black and white film cameras, to color, to video, there’s been a continuous upward trajectory of resolution and quality. Today's high-end VR cameras are a big leap forward. Through immersive, stereoscopic footage, they do something more compelling than refreshing your memory—they make you feel like you're there. And the closer cameras get to capturing the moment just the way we experienced it, the closer we get to creating time machines for ourselves.

Though Google started by making VR cameras for filmmakers and professional creators a few years ago, our team has always aimed to help people capture their personal memories in VR. But in order to make this tech accessible to everyone, we had to rethink the camera itself. There are 360 cameras in the market today, but they present some challenges—they can be costly, confusing to use (where do you point it?), and the photographer always ends up in the frame. So, we focused on the pixels that matter (the ones in front of you!) with a new format we're calling VR180. And we started designing high-quality, pocket-sized cameras that anyone could use to capture VR180 experiences with just a click of a button. The first VR180 cameras will hit shelves throughout this year, just in time for you to start hitting “record” on your own memories in 2018.

I've been using the VR180 prototypes for a while now, in places like my living room or on trips to the beach. It’s easy to share the captures with my family and friends. They can look at them on their phones, or use a viewer like Cardboard or Daydream View to step into the moment as if they were there. It’s amazing that I can film my sons jumping on the trampoline, or having a quiet breakfast, or being back where I was many years ago, on a ride at a carnival—and not only share those moments with family far away, but also relive them myself, in a way that makes me feel like I’m right back in each moment.

cbtl3
VR180 capture of one of my sons on a carnival ride, captured with one of our camera prototypes.

That’s why these VR180 cameras are so special. They do your memories justice, by enabling you to capture life the way you see it—with two eyes. When I’ve shown my family these recordings, they look into the headset, and smile. They say things like, “This is amazing!” and, when they take the headset off: “I only wish we had these cameras sooner.”

I couldn’t agree more.

A new way to experience Daydream and capture memories in VR

Since we launched Cardboard, our goal has been to create virtual reality experiences that are accessible, useful, and relevant to as many people as possible. With Daydream, we’ve been building a platform for high-quality mobile VR: we’ve worked with lots of different partners to bring fifteen Daydream-ready phones to market for smartphone VR. And today marks another step, with Lenovo unveiling new details about the Mirage Solo, a Daydream standalone headset we first announced at Google I/O. With it, you’ll have a more immersive and streamlined way to experience the best of what Daydream has to offer without needing a smartphone.

We've also been investing in ways to help you capture your life's most important moments in VR. We've designed high-quality, yet simple and pocket-sized cameras that anyone can use with just the click of a button. Our partners Lenovo and YI are sharing more on these, and they'll be available beginning in the second quarter this year.

Experience Daydream in a new way

The Lenovo Mirage Solo builds on everything that’s great about smartphone-based VR—portability and ease of use—and it delivers an even more immersive virtual reality experience. You don’t need a smartphone to use it: you just pick it up, put it on, and you’re ready to go. The headset is more comfortable and natural because of a new technology we created at Google called WorldSense. Based on years of investment in simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), it enables PC-quality positional tracking on a mobile device without the need for any additional external sensors. WorldSense lets you duck, dodge and lean, and step backwards, forwards or side to side, unlocking new gameplay elements that bring the virtual world to life. WorldSense tracking and Mirage Solo's high performance graphics mean that the objects you see will stay fixed in place just like in the real world, no matter which way you tilt or move your head. The Lenovo Mirage Solo will also have a wide field of view for great immersion, and an advanced display optimized for virtual reality, so everything you see stays crystal clear. It’s the best way to access Daydream.

Standalone
Lenovo Mirage Solo

We’re working closely with developers to bring new experiences to the platform that take advantage of all these new technologies, including a new game based on the iconic universe of Blade Runner called Blade Runner: Revelations. You’ll also have access to the entire Daydream catalog of over 250 apps, including Google apps like Street View, Photos, and Expeditions. With YouTube VR, you can watch the best VR video content, from powerful short pieces chronicling extraordinary role models to music, fashion, sports and epic journeys around the world. The Lenovo Mirage Solo also has built-in casting support, so you’re just a couple clicks away from sharing your virtual experiences onto a television for your friends and family to follow along. It will hit shelves beginning in the second quarter this year.

Capture your most important memories with VR180 cameras

Photos and videos matter to us because they help us remember the special moments in our lives. But what if you could do more than just remember a moment; what if you could relive it? That’s the idea behind the VR180 format, and we created VR180 cameras so that anyone could have an easy way to capture and then re-experience the past.

VR180

For the full effect, check out this video in a VR headset like Cardboard or Daydream View.

VR180 cameras are simple and designed for anyone to use, even if they’ve never tried VR before. There are other consumer VR cameras available today, but you have to think carefully about where you place these cameras when recording, and they capture flat 360 footage that doesn’t create a realistic sense of depth. In contrast, with VR180 cameras, you just point and shoot to take 3D photos and videos of the world in stunning 4K resolution. The resulting imagery is far more immersive than what you get with a traditional camera. You just feel like you’re there. You can re-experience the memories you capture in virtual reality with a headset like Cardboard or Daydream View. Or for a lightweight but more accessible experience, you can watch on your phone.

With options for unlimited private storage in Google Photos, you’ll have complete control over these irreplaceable memories, and you can also view them anytime in 2D on your mobile or desktop devices without a VR headset. If you want to share them, uploading to services like YouTube is easy.

LenovoStand
Lenovo Mirage Camera

Several VR180 cameras will be available soon. Different models will sport different features—like live streaming, which lets you share special moments in real time. The Lenovo Mirage Camera and YI Technology’s YI Horizon VR180 Camera will hit shelves beginning in the second quarter, and a camera from LG will be coming later this year. For professional creators, the Z Cam K1 Pro recently launched, and Panasonic is building VR180 support for their just-announced GH5 cameras with a new add-on.

YI camera
YI Horizon VR180 Camera

We’re continuing to invest in the virtual reality experiences that are compelling and relevant for everyone. Whether you access Daydream through a Daydream View and the Daydream-ready smartphone of your choice or the new, more immersive Lenovo Mirage Solo, you’ll get the best mobile VR apps and videos anywhere. And with a range of VR180 cameras to choose from, you’ll be able to capture your most important memories in a new way.

We also want to hear from you. Starting today, we're launching a VR180 contest: tell us about a special memory you’d like to capture, and we'll work with the winners to bring their ideas to life.

Pixel 2 and Daydream View: new experiences in AR and VR

Virtual and augmented reality have the potential to make computing more immersive, intuitive and powerful. With augmented reality (AR), you can interact with digital objects that are integrated seamlessly in the real world around you. With virtual reality (VR), you can experience what it’s like to go anywhere. We just announced the new Pixel 2, which gives you access to amazing smartphone AR and high-quality mobile VR in the same device.

AR: Have fun and get things done

Aside from taking great photos and videos, the Pixel 2 camera is factory calibrated and optimized for AR. It enables robust tracking, even in low-light conditions, and 60 frames per second rendering of AR objects. That means you’ll be able to have really engaging AR experiences.

To start, we’re putting AR objects and characters at your fingertips in a new experience called AR Stickers. With it, you’ll be able to express yourself with playful emojis and set the scene for your very own stories. If you’re powering through an afternoon slump, you can take a picture with a tired cup of coffee from the Foodmoji pack. Or, if you’re feeling festive, shoot a happy birthday video for your friend with lots of AR balloons. These stickers give you new ways to be creative and capture how you’re feeling, so you can share with the people in your life. It works right in the camera, and it’ll be exclusive to the Pixel. 

coffeegif2

We’ll release more new AR Sticker packs in the future, so keep your eyes peeled around the changing seasons, holidays and big pop culture moments. You’ll be able to interact with your favorite characters from “Stranger Things,” and be part of the scene as Eleven faces off against the Demogorgon. Team up with R2-D2 to save the day with the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" pack. Hang out with your favorite NBA Stars and the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

EDCWGIF

We’re previewing apps and experiences built by our partners with ARCore, the AR software development kit (SDK) for Android. With Houzz, you’ll be able to bring the showroom into your living room and see how different furniture, accent pieces and more fit into your space. Experience the real-time action of a League of Legends match through an AR map, built by Grab Games. And with LEGO, have fun building virtual models in AR with characters that come to life, without fear of stepping on that last 2x4 brick.

AR Stickers and lots of other AR experiences will be available in the coming months.

VR: More immersive with an all-new Daydream View

We’re also announcing a new Google Daydream View headset, which you can pair with Pixel 2 or another Daydream-ready phone for great VR. 

Google Daydream View

With this new headset, we kept the best parts of the original and made them even better. The new Daydream View has high-performance lenses, which result in better image clarity and a wider field of view. It sports a premium two-tone fabric that makes the headset soft and light, and it comes in three new colors: Fog, Charcoal and Coral.

DDV3

There’s so much to experience on Daydream. Last year, we launched with 25 apps and games. Daydream now has more than 250 titles, so you’ll never run out of things to do. Over the last year, we’ve also seen how much people love watching immersive VR video on apps like YouTube VR. And no wonder: great VR video puts you in the center of the action. It’s a totally different experience from watching on a flat screen.

We’re bringing you more of these amazing, only-in-VR moments with a slate of new and exclusive premium content for Daydream. Get closer than front row seats with intimate performances from your favorite stars like Ed Sheeran in “Austin City Limits Backstage.” Hear personal confessions from huge comics like Trevor Noah in “The Confessional,” a YouTube VR original from Felix & Paul. With “The Female Planet,” follow in the footsteps of inspiring women like Gina Rodriguez and Inna Braverman. Venture to all seven continents with the new series “Discovery TRVLR,” and blast off into space with IMAX 3D in Google Play Movies.

Learn more and buy

With Google Pixel 2, you’ll have easy access to both AR and VR. We can’t wait for you to get your hands on it and start exploring. Learn more and pre-order one at the Google Store.

The new Google Daydream View will be available later this year:

  • United States: Google Store, Verizon, Best Buy, AT&T, Amazon
  • Canada: Google Store, Best Buy, Rogers, Bell, Telus, Freedom, Videotron, Glentel
  • United Kingdom: Google Store, EE, Carphone Warehouse
  • Germany: Google Store, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, MediaMarkt, Saturn
  • Australia: Google Store, Telstra, JB Hi-Fi
  • India: Flipkart
  • Italy: Google Store
  • France: Google Store
  • Spain: Google Store
  • Japan: Google Store
  • Korea: Google Store

From now until the end of the year, your purchase of Daydream View will come with a bundle of top games to help get you started. (U.S., U.K. and Korea only).

gamespromo

Pixel 2 and Daydream View: new experiences in AR and VR

Virtual and augmented reality have the potential to make computing more immersive, intuitive and powerful. With augmented reality (AR), you can interact with digital objects that are integrated seamlessly in the real world around you. With virtual reality (VR), you can experience what it’s like to go anywhere. We just announced the new Pixel 2, which gives you access to amazing smartphone AR and high-quality mobile VR in the same device.

AR: Have fun and get things done

Aside from taking great photos and videos, the Pixel 2 camera is factory calibrated and optimized for AR. It enables robust tracking, even in low-light conditions, and 60 frames per second rendering of AR objects. That means you’ll be able to have really engaging AR experiences.

To start, we’re putting AR objects and characters at your fingertips in a new experience called AR Stickers. With it, you’ll be able to express yourself with playful emojis and set the scene for your very own stories. If you’re powering through an afternoon slump, you can take a picture with a tired cup of coffee from the Foodmoji pack. Or, if you’re feeling festive, shoot a happy birthday video for your friend with lots of AR balloons. These stickers give you new ways to be creative and capture how you’re feeling, so you can share with the people in your life. It works right in the camera, and it’ll be exclusive to the Pixel. 

coffeegif2

We’ll release more new AR Sticker packs in the future, so keep your eyes peeled around the changing seasons, holidays and big pop culture moments. You’ll be able to interact with your favorite characters from “Stranger Things,” and be part of the scene as Eleven faces off against the Demogorgon. Team up with R2-D2 to save the day with the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" pack. Hang out with your favorite NBA Stars and the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

EDCWGIF

We’re previewing apps and experiences built by our partners with ARCore, the AR software development kit (SDK) for Android. With Houzz, you’ll be able to bring the showroom into your living room and see how different furniture, accent pieces and more fit into your space. Experience the real-time action of a League of Legends match through an AR map, built by Grab Games. And with LEGO, have fun building virtual models in AR with characters that come to life, without fear of stepping on that last 2x4 brick.

AR Stickers and lots of other AR experiences will be available in the coming months.

VR: More immersive with an all-new Daydream View

We’re also announcing a new Google Daydream View headset, which you can pair with Pixel 2 or another Daydream-ready phone for great VR. 

Google Daydream View

With this new headset, we kept the best parts of the original and made them even better. The new Daydream View has high-performance lenses, which result in better image clarity and a wider field of view. It sports a premium two-tone fabric that makes the headset soft and light, and it comes in three new colors: Fog, Charcoal and Coral.

DDV3

There’s so much to experience on Daydream. Last year, we launched with 25 apps and games. Daydream now has more than 250 titles, so you’ll never run out of things to do. Over the last year, we’ve also seen how much people love watching immersive VR video on apps like YouTube VR. And no wonder: great VR video puts you in the center of the action. It’s a totally different experience from watching on a flat screen.

We’re bringing you more of these amazing, only-in-VR moments with a slate of new and exclusive premium content for Daydream. Get closer than front row seats with intimate performances from your favorite stars like Ed Sheeran in “Austin City Limits Backstage.” Hear personal confessions from huge comics like Trevor Noah in “The Confessional,” a YouTube VR original from Felix & Paul. With “The Female Planet,” follow in the footsteps of inspiring women like Gina Rodriguez and Inna Braverman. Venture to all seven continents with the new series “Discovery TRVLR,” and blast off into space with IMAX 3D in Google Play Movies.

Learn more and buy

With Google Pixel 2, you’ll have easy access to both AR and VR. We can’t wait for you to get your hands on it and start exploring. Learn more and pre-order one at the Google Store.

The new Google Daydream View will be available later this year:

  • United States: Google Store, Verizon, Best Buy, AT&T, Amazon
  • Canada: Google Store, Best Buy, Rogers, Bell, Telus, Freedom, Videotron, Glentel
  • United Kingdom: Google Store, EE, Carphone Warehouse
  • Germany: Google Store, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, MediaMarkt, Saturn
  • Australia: Google Store, Telstra, JB Hi-Fi
  • India: Flipkart
  • Italy: Google Store
  • France: Google Store
  • Spain: Google Store
  • Japan: Google Store
  • Korea: Google Store

From now until the end of the year, your purchase of Daydream View will come with a bundle of top games to help get you started. (U.S., U.K. and Korea only).

gamespromo

More on Daydream, Tango, and Developer tools for VR and AR

This morning at Google I/O, we went into more detail about the investments we’re making in the core technologies that enable VR and AR, and in platforms that make them accessible to more people. 

Tango 

Tango enables devices to track motion and understand depth and space, and it’s a fundamental enabling technology for both virtual and augmented reality. WorldSense, the positional tracking technology which makes our new Daydream standalone VR headsets work without any external sensors, is derived from Tango. 

Tango also enables smartphone AR. With it, devices can provide indoor directions and place digital objects in the space around us. You can see what furniture looks like in your bedroom before you buy it, build interactive worlds in your living room, or summon dinosaurs into your kitchen to learn more about them. And with Expeditions AR, students can have a shared experience of digital objects, like the rings of Saturn or an erupting volcano, right in the classroom.

Daydream 

Daydream is our platform for mobile VR. There are lots of Daydream-ready phones already available, with more to come this year—including Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+, and devices from LG, Motorola and ASUS. Standalone headsets, a new category of devices built by our partners, are also coming to Daydream later this year. They’re easy to use, and the form factor enables partners to optimize things like sensors and displays for VR. And with more than 150 apps, there’s lots to explore, watch and do in VR—regardless of which Daydream-ready device you choose.

The upcoming 2.0 release for all headsets, Daydream Euphrates, has features that make VR more fun and easier to share with others. You’ll be able to capture what you’re seeing, as well as cast your virtual world right onto the screen in your living room. And, soon, you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos in VR with other people and share the experience in the same virtual space.

DDEuph_Casting

DDEuph_YTVR

Developers and the Web

In order for immersive computing to be “for everyone,” developers need to build great apps and experiences. We’re working on tools and tech to help them do that. 

First, with Instant Preview, developers can make changes on a computer and see them reflected on a headset in seconds, not minutes, making development much faster for VR. 

Second, a new technology we’ve developed called Seurat – named after the great French painter – makes it possible to render high-fidelity scenes on mobile VR headsets in real time. It uses some clever tricks to help you achieve desktop-level graphics or better with a mobile GPU. Seurat enabled ILMxLAB, the branch of Lucasfilm focused on pioneering next generation immersive experiences, to bring the cinema-quality world of Rogue One to a mobile VR headset. We’ll have more to share on Seurat later this year, so stay tuned.

Seurat: Bringing high-fidelity rendering to mobile VR

Finally, our investments in the web mean that developers can distribute their creations to anyone, regardless of device—whether it’s desktops, phones, or VR and AR enabled devices. We were an early supporter and contributor to WebVR standards. Chrome VR, which will make it possible to browse the web in virtual reality, is coming to Daydream this summer. And we’re excited to support AR for the web, too. We’re releasing an experimental build of Chromium with an AR API that you can try out now.

These are just the first steps, but we’re excited about where this leads. Be sure to catch our other I/O sessions on VR and AR to learn more.

More on Daydream, Tango, and Developer tools for VR and AR

This morning at Google I/O, we went into more detail about the investments we're making in the core technologies that enable VR and AR, and in platforms that make them accessible to more people. 

Tango 

Tango enables devices to track motion and understand depth and space, and it’s a fundamental enabling technology for both virtual and augmented reality. WorldSense, the positional tracking technology which makes our new Daydream standalone VR headsets work without any external sensors, is derived from Tango. 

Tango also enables smartphone AR. With it, devices can provide indoor directions and place digital objects in the space around us. You can see what furniture looks like in your bedroom before you buy it, build interactive worlds in your living room, or summon dinosaurs into your kitchen to learn more about them. And with Expeditions AR, students can have a shared experience of digital objects, like the rings of Saturn or an erupting volcano, right in the classroom.

Daydream 

Daydream is our platform for mobile VR. There are lots of Daydream-ready phones already available, with more to come this year—including Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+, and devices from LG, Motorola and ASUS. Standalone headsets, a new category of devices built by our partners, are also coming to Daydream later this year. They’re easy to use, and the form factor enables partners to optimize things like sensors and displays for VR. And with more than 150 apps, there’s lots to explore, watch and do in VR—regardless of which Daydream-ready device you choose.

The upcoming 2.0 release for all headsets, Daydream Euphrates, has features that make VR more fun and easier to share with others. You’ll be able to capture what you’re seeing, as well as cast your virtual world right onto the screen in your living room. And, soon, you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos in VR with other people and share the experience in the same virtual space.

DDEuph_Casting
DDEuph_YTVR

Developers and the Web

In order for immersive computing to be “for everyone,” developers need to build great apps and experiences. We’re working on tools and tech to help them do that. 

First, with Instant Preview, developers can make changes on a computer and see them reflected on a headset in seconds, not minutes, making development much faster for VR. 

Second, a new technology we've developed called Seurat – named after the great French painter – makes it possible to render high-fidelity scenes on mobile VR headsets in real time. It uses some clever tricks to help you achieve desktop-level graphics or better with a mobile GPU. Seurat enabled ILMxLAB, the branch of Lucasfilm focused on pioneering next generation immersive experiences, to bring the cinema-quality world of Rogue One to a mobile VR headset. We'll have more to share on Seurat later this year, so stay tuned.
Seurat: Bringing high-fidelity rendering to mobile VR

Finally, our investments in the web mean that developers can distribute their creations to anyone, regardless of device—whether it’s desktops, phones, or VR and AR enabled devices. We were an early supporter and contributor to WebVR standards. Chrome VR, which will make it possible to browse the web in virtual reality, is coming to Daydream this summer. And we’re excited to support AR for the web, too. We’re releasing an experimental build of Chromium with an AR API that you can try out now.

These are just the first steps, but we’re excited about where this leads. Be sure to catch our other I/O sessions on VR and AR to learn more.