Another Google project bites the dust: Daydream, Google’s virtual reality platform, has officially come to an end.
Google has confirmed it's no longer selling the Daydream View headset, while the new Pixel 4 smartphones won't support it. The Pixel 3a didn't work with it either, but this is the first flagship Pixel to drop support.
In a statement, Google said it didn't see the "broad consumer or developer adoption" it had hoped for, and said it had seen decreasing usage of the View over time. It will, however, keep the Daydream app and store live for existing users.
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The writing has been on the wall ever since Google stopped talking about Daydream quite some time ago, which tends to be the sign that Mountain View has given up on yet another project.
It also confirms what we've been hearing from sources, who say there have been several internal reorganizations that have left the Daydram team decimated. One source said that Daydream is no longer a “top priority” for the company and described the future of the project as “up in the air”.
Earlier this year, Google shut down its VR film studio, Spotlight Stories, with some of the team redistributed throughout the company.
Here's the statement from Google:
We saw a lot of potential in smartphone VR — being able to use the smartphone you carry with you everywhere to power an immersive on-the-go experience. But over time we noticed some clear limitations constraining smartphone VR from being a viable long-term solution. Most notably, asking people to put their phone in a headset and lose access to the apps they use throughout the day causes immense friction.
There also hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve seen decreasing usage over time of the Daydream View headset. So while we are no longer selling Daydream View or supporting Daydream on Pixel 4, the Daydream app and store will remain available for existing users.
Google is instead choosing to focus on AR on its smartphones, where it sees a more obvious use case. It has a framework called AR Core, which developers can use to build augmented reality applications, but it's also toying with other ideas like AR directions in Google Maps.
It's a shame to see the Daydream die, but after the initial hype it started feeling like an unloved child in Google's family. Maybe it can take another run-up one day.
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