Yesterday, at Google I/O, the company unveiled the first details of its new virtual reality platform, Google Daydream. The platform is for mobile devices and incorporates the use of a small, motion controller allowing for native tactile interaction on mobile VR. Then today, during Google I/O, the company announced that developers can immediately start developing for Google Daydream right now. You can access the developer overview site here, as well as information about setting up a Daydream Development Kit here. There’s even a Stack Overflow tag to collate the common Daydream development questions.
Setting up a Daydream Developer Kit appears relatively simple, as the software and hardware are designed to remain open and accessible. Naturally, there are some specific prerequisites in place to get started with Google Daydream development. First and foremost, you need a Nexus 6P phone. That’s the only phone currently supported that can be used as a Daydream devkit at this time, but that is expected to change sooner rather than later. You’ll also need a second Android phone running KitKat or above, which will be used to emulate the Daydream controller, since those are not available yet. The final piece of necessary hardware is a headset device, such as a Google Cardboard, preferably one with a head strap.
In terms of software, just download the Android N Preview SDK, and the Google VR SDK for your desired platform, such as the Google VR SDK for Android, for Unity, or for iOS. With the Google VR NDK, there is support for C/C++ API for developers will support to start implementing VR standards such as spatial audio, head tracking, 3D calibration, and more.
Additionally, Unreal Engine 4 support for Daydream is available and is also coming to the binary tools in the full Unreal Engine 4.12 launch on June 1st. The rest of the instructions, such as headset setup and assigning your 2nd phone as the controller phone can be found on the official Daydream development guide.
Several prominent VR developers are already on board with Daydream, such as EA and Ubisoft, as well as CCP with an exclusive EVE: Gunjack sequel. You can find additional infomation about developing for Daydream on Google’s official Developer Blog. You can also download printable Daydream phone controller emulator overlays via the images below.