Tag Archives: Daydream View

PhoneDog Sizes up Virtual Reality

Anna Scantlin (@PhoneDog_Anna) penned this post for mobile tech journal PhoneDog.com. In it she reviews the Gear VR headset, and then sizes up, more broadly, the larger  Virtual Reality space.

She compares setting up Samsung’s mid-range device to the experience of readying to use Google Cardboard, and then describes the experience of playing horror games in VR.

Black man in bedroom wearing Gear VR hedset, looking shocked at what he sees

Scantlin’s opinion? Downright scary. And she admits to being a person who is no stranger to horror games. I must experience one of these horror programs myself. Everyone describes them as powerful, immersive, and frequently, too horrifying.

Parenthetically, I’ve come across horror genre junkies who’ve tried horror in VR and view the heightened level of fear these programs precipitate in the pejorative, as if they reach a level of intensity that goes too far, is “unnatural.”

She also expressed satisfaction with less incendiary VR experiences like Ocean Rift and Star Chart.

However, in summary, Scantlin refers to virtual reality as a novelty, at least, for the time being. This observation, somewhat widespread, may get many a VR champion’s dander up, but it shouldn’t.  We are, and will be for some time, “wicked 1.0.” My only criticism of this post? She overlooks the impending widening of the mid-range headset field. Oculus Home and Gear VR already have a competitor in Google’s Daydream and Daydream View. Prices should drop.

As for her criticism of the bulky form these HMDs manifest? Impossible to argue with, and we’ve just got to wait. The day will come when strapping on an HMD doesn’t make one look or feel like he or she is wearing ski goggles in the living room–but not soon enough.

Notebook Review Looks at Google DayDream View

This review of Google Daydream View, penned by Jamison Cush, is thorough and comprehensive. There are no mentions of VR porn or BaDoinkVR, but that can be forgiven. When I read an article, and note that kind of omission, I’m always inclined to blame the editor.

Bird's eye view of Google Daydream View HMD
Bird’s eye view of Google Daydream View

He praises the design and feel of the device, as well as the intuitive remote. Unfortunately, there are some damning drawbacks to the new Daydream Viewer, specifically an unimpressive 110° field of view and insufferable amount of light leak. Light leak, in all HMDs, in this nascent stage of VR development, is unavoidable, but Cush points out that in the case of Daydream Viewer, the leakage is flood-like.

I take all of his comments to heart. What worries me about this write-up is that it underscores a persistent Google deficiency: they simply fall short when it comes to developing physical devices.

Of course, even if Daydream Viewer never improves adequately enough in subsequent iterations, all is not lost. So many manufacturers are on board with the Daydream platform, and I reckon many of those will develop their own headset, and maybe most of those will be vastly better than Google’s.

Still, it does not make for the best first impression, especially if you’ve been called the Gear VR Killer for nearly a year.