Panoramic and 360 degree photos are a joy to view. On a computer, you can sweep them around and view details on the big screen. On your phone, you can move the device around as if it were a window into the scene. With a Cardboard-compliant headset, you can stick that window right in front of your face. It's almost as if you're back in the place and time where you took the photo, but some elements of immersion that are possible in VR aren't quite there; the movement isn't smooth, the resolution is a bit off, and the image can start to favor titling in one particular direction over the course of a viewing session. Just by eliminating those issues, Daydream breathes new life into your old photos, and brings your favorite memories front and center.
When you view a photo in Daydream, the jittering of Cardboard is gone. The comfortable, breathable headset does very little, if anything at all, to make it seem like you're staring at your phone from just a few inches away. Photos are as crisp as the camera that took them will allow, and the hardware allows for full immersion. Naturally, thanks to the bevy of sensors required for a phone to be Daydream certified, the whole thing will track your head movement flawlessly, making eye movements and the lack of engagement of your other senses just about the only things that can really break the immersion.
While content created specifically for VR, things like this, taking content and experiences that mobile consumers already love and use daily, and turning them into something unique and new, could easily be one of the big attractions for VR as it marches toward mainstream adoption. Watching Netflix in a private theater, playing retro games in emulators on a giant screen with no interruptions, and plunging into your old memories as if you're there again are just a few of the ways that VR can prove its value to consumers through revolution. Daydream claims to be able to bridge the gap between current mobile VR and desktop VR, and inherently mobile experiences such as this may be just the ticket.