Google I/O 2016 | CNET
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Google I/O 2016

I/O 2016, Google's annual developer conference, starts with a bang on Wednesday, May 18. Android N and virtual reality are expected to be two of the big highlights, with plenty more on deck.

  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:10:43 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:10:45 PM
    Lots and lots of new API features in Android N... and would you look at that, right in the center there's a listing for "VR mode."
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:11:08 PM
    Oh yes. Here comes Clay Bavor, the leader of Google's VR division.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:11:32 PM
    "Virtual reality is coming to Android N," he says.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:11:51 PM
    "It all started two years ago with Google Cardboard," says Clay. 50 million Cardboard apps installed so far.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:12:16 PM
    Cardboard represent so much about what VR should be about, he says. Mobile, affordable, for everyone.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:12:21 PM
    (Google Cardboard is literally a piece of cardboard with cheap lenses that turns most any smartphone into a VR viewer.)
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:12:24 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:12:47 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:12:48 PM
    "To make your brain say, yup, I'm somewhere else," you have to tackle lots of technical problems, he says.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:13:02 PM
    Now Clay's talking about the challenges of creating good virtual reality. Like "motion-to-photon latency," the delay between when you move your head and when the picture updates to reflect that motion.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:13:12 PM
    Clay announces Daydream.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:13:21 PM
    "Daydream is our platform for high-quality mobile virtual reality."
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:13:31 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:13:33 PM
    He says we won't see it until the fall, but he's previewing it today.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:13:36 PM
    It will be available in the fall.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:13:56 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:14:08 PM
    It involves three parts, a headset, remote and phone.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:14:32 PM
    There'll be a "Daydream ready" specification requirement for compatible phones. Needs to have high-quality sensors, display and processor.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:14:50 PM
    He's talking about VR mode, which is built into Android N
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:15:14 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:15:21 PM
    Clay says they've gotten the latency down to 20 milliseconds. That's pretty fast, close to what high-end VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive offer.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:15:47 PM
    Samsung, LG, and HTC are among the companies that will have Daydream ready phones.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:15:58 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:16:01 PM
    Some of them will be here this fall, says Clay. Not sure which.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:16:14 PM
    Now he's moving onto the headset. It needs to be comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:16:27 PM
    They are sharing a reference design with hardware makers.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:16:49 PM
    He's talking about the controller now.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:17:05 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:17:11 PM
    It's got a trackpad and a button.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:17:32 PM
    Now we're taking a look at the user interface, and what it might be like to use the controller.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:17:47 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:17:48 PM
    It's a magic wand. It's a griddle for flipping pancakes, it's a fishing rod.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:18:21 PM
    I've gotta say, it's a big deal to have an actual spec requirement for Android phones, VR or no. Could help with Google's fragmentation issue.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:18:23 PM
    The controller will also be a part of the reference design they are sharing with partners.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:18:25 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:18:39 PM
    Last, he's moving on to VR apps.
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:19:03 PM
    Want way more Daydream details? My story:

    Daydream is Google's new VR headset -- and it's not what you expected

    CNETGoogle wants to create the Android of VR, by encouraging phonemakers to build around its new hardware and software platform.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:19:09 PM
    Google built a version of Street View for VR. You can access it through Daydream Home -- the VR home screen.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:19:11 PM
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:19:24 PM
  • Sean Hollister 5/18/2016 6:19:24 PM
    Hulu, Netflix, HBO and IMAX are bringing movies to Daydream.
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:19:38 PM
    There will be other apps from The New York Times, WSJ, HBO.
  • James Martin 5/18/2016 6:20:01 PM
  • Richard Nieva 5/18/2016 6:20:26 PM
    Also coming: Google Play movies, Google Photos, and YouTube.
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