Unity Adds Support For Google’s Daydream VR Platform

by Ian Hamilton • September 22nd, 2016

One of the leading platforms for VR development added improved support for Google’s upcoming Daydream platform.

Unity Technologies raised $181 million in July and supports a wide range of gadgets, including VR headsets, with its development tools. Earlier this year, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey said around 90 percent of the content on its store was developed with Unity’s tools.

Now Unity is including native Daydream support with “significant optimizations and reduced latency” beyond the initial Google VR integration released earlier this year. The new additions to the Technical Preview of Unity should make it easier for developers to build their VR software for both Daydream and the earlier Google Cardboard system, which could allow a VR app to reach a larger audience.

“We have done a deep integration with the Daydream SDK to leverage the platform’s asynchronous reprojection and VR performance mode,” an official post about the update reads. “Cardboard support is exclusive to Android with iOS Cardboard support coming soon.”

Google also created tools for Unity to add spatialized audio and support for the basic wireless motion controller that sets the system apart from current mobile VR headsets. If you’re a developer and want to try the feature you’ll need to have the Unity Daydream technical preview installed as well as the Android Development platform software development tools for the latest version of the system, Nougat.  You also need a Daydream-enabled phone — so far only the Nexus 6P is considered a developer kit for the upcoming platform.

We expect a slew of manufacturers to announce compatible hardware soon, with a Google press event scheduled for Oct. 4. Daydream’s arrival is one of three major VR platforms expected to debut in the next month. Oculus has powered the Gear VR from Samsung for almost two years, building a content library and improving the experience over that time. We can’t wait to see if Daydream is capable of matching it, or if Oculus has any mobile surprises in store through the end of the year.

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