Google has opened up its Daydream virtual reality (VR) reference platform to developers, providing them with a platform on which to create VR mobile apps.
Daydream was announced earlier this year as a way for developers to have access to a software development kit (SDK) that enabled the creation of VR applications for Daydream compatible smartphone and VR headsets. That SDK has now graduated from its beta stage and is available for download on the Daydream developer site.
However, only developers who are participating in the Daydream Access Programme can make their apps available on the Android Play Store; others with ambitions of crating Daydream-based apps will have to submit their app proposals to Google.
The first Daydream-ready smartphones and other hardware are expected to be released this autumn under the Google Pixel brand, which is the successor to its Nexus smartphone, tablet and smart device line.
Google VR project manager Nathan Martz added that a partnership between Google and games engine makers Unity and Unreal has been created so that developers can make use of familiar 3D tools when creating VR apps.
“This release marks the debut of native Daydream integration in Unity, which enables Daydream developers to take full advantage of all of Unity’s optimisations in VR rendering. It also adds support for features like head tracking, deep linking, and easy Android manifest configuration,” he said.
Those developing on Daydream require a Nexus 6P smartphone running Android 7.0 Nougat and a second Android smartphone running the KitKat version of Google’s mobile operating system or above.
The requirement for a brace of phones is down to one being used as the VR engine and the other as a means to emulate the yet-to-be-released Daydream controller.
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