Daydream is a virtual reality (VR) platform developed by Google that is built into the Android mobile operating system (versions "Nougat" 7.1 and later).[1][2] Compatible phones that follow the platform's software and hardware specifications (and are thus designated "Daydream-ready") are used in the Google Daydream View VR headset. The Daydream platform was announced at the Google I/O developer conference in May 2016,[1][2] with the first VR headset released on November 10, 2016.[3] Daydream is the company's second VR platform following Google Cardboard, which was a low-cost system intended to encourage interest in VR and was built into compatible mobile apps rather than the operating system itself.

It is not to be confused with the "Daydream" screensaver feature that had been introduced with Android 4.2 in 2012 and was renamed to "screen saver" after the 2016 launch of the VR platform.[4]


First generation Daydream View


First-generation Daydream View

The first-generation Google Daydream View was announced on October 4, 2016.[5][6][7] Daydream-ready smartphones can be placed in the front compartment of the Daydream View and then viewed in VR through the headset's two lenses. The View distinguished itself from previous VR head mounts by being constructed out of a light-weight cloth material, as well as featuring capacitive nubs and an NFC chip to simplify the process of setting up virtual reality viewing.[8]

The Daydream View was released on November 10, 2016.[3][9]

The Daydream View launched in a "Slate" color option. Two new color choices, "Crimson" and "Snow", became available on December 8, 2016.[10]

In a review of the Google Daydream View, Adi Robertson of The Verge wrote that the headset was the "best mobile headset" she'd ever used, complimenting its "squishy foam-and-fabric body" being "significantly smaller, lighter, and more portable than the Samsung Gear VR", and that its design "keeps the lenses relatively protected during travel". She also liked the device's weight distribution, writing that it "rests more weight on your forehead than your cheeks, an option I've found more comfortable" and that allows her to "wear it easily for hours at a time". She also praised the material, particularly its plastic sliders rather than velcro patches on the head strap, writing that it allows "a wider range of sizes and avoids gathering lint", and that the View's overall design "could almost pass for an airplane sleep mask", meaning that it "avoids looking ostentatiously high-tech or intimidating".[11]


Google Daydream headsets are packaged with a wireless controller. This controller can be used for interacting with the virtual world through button presses or through waving the device. On-board sensors are used to track the orientation of the controller and approximate the position of the user's hand. The Daydream View's controller can be stored inside the headset while not in use.[7] The controller has a touch pad, two circular buttons (one functioning as a home button and one functioning as an app-specific button), and two volume buttons, along with a status light. The controller is rechargeable and charges via USB-C. On its support pages, Google notes that the Daydream View "doesn't include a charger or cables" and instead directs users to purchase those from the Google Store.[12]


In May 2016 at the Google I/O developer conference, Google announced that a virtual reality (VR) mode called "Daydream" would be coming to the new Android release Nougat.[1][2]

The VR mode lets players use virtual reality apps, including YouTube, Google Maps Street View, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Photos in an immersive view. Google recruited media companies like Netflix and Ubisoft for entertainment apps.[1][2]

In January 2017, Google opened the Daydream program for all third-party developers.[13][14]

Second generation Daydream View

The second-generation Daydream View was unveiled during the Made by Google 2017 event. For the first time, it is available in three colors, namely: "Charcoal", "Fog", and "Coral". It is largely similar to the first-generation, with a few improvements, including a slightly altered design and improved lenses for a wider field of view. It was released on 19 October 2017 with a launch price of US$99.[15][16][17]

Lenovo Mirage Solo

Lenovo's Mirage Solo headset, announced at CES 2018, is the first standalone headset running on Google's Daydream platform. It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage expandable by microSD, dual mics, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 2560 x 1440 LCD screen and a 4,000 mAh battery. Its highlight feature is support for Google "WorldSense", an improved position tracking technology.[18]

The headset is designed to be coupled with the Mirage Camera, which is a point-and shoot 360-degree camera with two lenses that can capture in 4K.[19]

Lenovo has said that it will ship by mid-2018, with a price less than $400.[20]


Daydream will only work on certain newer phones with specific components. Google announced at the Google I/O conference that eight hardware partners will make Daydream-ready phones: Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus and Alcatel.[21] Phones will dedicate processing power to the Daydream mode in order to reduce latency and prevent nausea.[2] Sundar Pichai expects 11 Android smartphones that support Daydream VR on sale by the end of 2017.[22]

The following phones have been confirmed as Daydream-ready:

Daydream-compatible phones
Phone Brand System-on-a-chip Date since Note
Pixel and Pixel XL[23][24] Google Snapdragon 821 October 4, 2016 First Daydream-compatible phone
Moto Z[25][26] Motorola Mobility Snapdragon 820 Requires Android Nougat system update
ZenFone AR[27] Asus Snapdragon 821 ZenFone AR is the first mobile device to ship with support for both Google Tango and Google Daydream capabilities, adding support for both virtual reality and augmented reality.
Mate 9 Pro[28] Huawei Kirin 960
Axon 7[29][30] ZTE Snapdragon 820 February 7, 2017 Requires Android Nougat system update
Galaxy S8 and S8+[31] Samsung Electronics Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 July 31, 2017 Requires rolling out System Update to enable functionality
Galaxy Note 8[32]
V30[33] LG Electronics Snapdragon 835
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Google


  1. ^ a b c d Robertson, Adi; Miller, Ross (May 18, 2016). "Daydream is Google's Android-powered VR platform". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Amadeo, Ron (May 18, 2016). "Gear VRs for everyone! Google turns Android into a VR-ready OS: Daydream". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Jazayeri, Mike (November 1, 2016). "Daydream View coming to stores November 10th". The Keyword Google Blog. Google. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ Raphael, JR (2017-12-05). "Android nostalgia: 13 once-trumpeted features that quietly faded away". Computerworld. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  5. ^ Bavor, Clay (October 4, 2016). "Daydream: Bringing high-quality VR to everyone". The Keyword Google Blog. Google. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  6. ^ Roettgers, Janko (October 3, 2016). "Google to Unveil First Daydream Virtual Reality Headset Tuesday, Likely Priced $79 (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Robertson, Adi; Kastrenakes, Jacob (October 4, 2016). "Google's Daydream View VR headset goes on sale next month for $79". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  8. ^ Amadeo, Ron (October 5, 2016). "Daydream VR hands-on: Google's "dumb" VR headset is actually very clever". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  9. ^ Robertson, Adi (November 1, 2016). "Google's Daydream VR headset is coming November 10th". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ Whitwam, Ryan (December 1, 2016). "Google Daydream View headsets in Crimson and Snow colors available for pre-order, shipping on December 8th". Android Police. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  11. ^ Robertson, Adi (November 11, 2016). "Google Daydream View Review: Mobile VR done mostly right". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Use the Daydream View controller and headset". Daydream Help. Google. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  13. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (January 25, 2017). "Anyone can make an app for Google Daydream VR now". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  14. ^ Matney, Lucas (January 25, 2017). "Google opens up its Daydream VR platform to all developers". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  15. ^ "New $99 Google Daydream View VR headset announced with three new colors". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  16. ^ "Google's new Daydream headset is $99". Engadget. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  17. ^ Matney, Lucas. "Google delivers minor updates to Daydream View headset, bumps up price to $99". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  18. ^ Matney, Lucas. "Google's first WorldSense VR headset, the Lenovo Mirage Solo, ships in Q2 for 'under $400'". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  19. ^ "Google's VR180 Cameras Are the Future of Point-and-Shoot". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  20. ^ "Google and Lenovo's standalone VR headset will ship by mid-2018". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  21. ^ Opam, Kwame (May 18, 2016). "Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG will build Android Daydream VR phones". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Google says 11 Daydream-compatible phones will be on sale by end of 2017". Android Authority. 2017-07-25. Retrieved 2017-08-07. 
  23. ^ Savov, Vlad (October 4, 2016). "Pixel 'phone by Google' announced". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  24. ^ Velazco, Chris (October 4, 2016). "Google's Pixel and Pixel XL might make you forget those Nexuses". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  25. ^ Steve, Billy (November 21, 2016). "Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be Daydream compatible with Android Nougat upgrade". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  26. ^ Carman, Ashley (November 21, 2016). "Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be Daydream compatible with Android Nougat upgrade". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  27. ^ Conditt, Jessica (January 2, 2017). "ASUS' ZenFone AR is ready for Google Tango and Daydream". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Daydream – Daydream-ready phones". vr.google.com. Retrieved 2017-08-07. 
  29. ^ Carman, Ashley (February 7, 2017). "The Axon 7 is now compatible with Daydream VR". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  30. ^ Lopez, Napier (February 7, 2017). "ZTE's Axon 7 just became the cheapest Daydream VR phone with its update to Nougat". The Next Web. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  31. ^ Matney, Lucas. "Daydream update starts arriving on Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones TechCrunch". Retrieved 2017-08-06. 
  32. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Daydream compatibility available right out of the box". 9to5Google. 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-10-04. 
  33. ^ "The V30 is LG's first smartphone to support Daydream VR". Android Authority. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2017-10-04. 

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