More than ten million smartphones compatible with the Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform will be shipped over the course of this year, according to Clay Bavor, Google's Vice President of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The Mountain View-based tech giant expects that its emerging VR ecosystem will grow by a significant margin in the coming months, largely thanks to the upcoming support for a number of popular devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, and future LG Electronics-made Android flagships. The ASUS ZenFone AR that was announced earlier this year should also contribute to the expansion of the Daydream platform, Bavor said, reiterating that the Daydream and Tango-enabled device will be released during the third quarter of 2017.
While the ZenFone AR will be sold in the United States exclusively through Verizon Wireless, some industry watchers expect it to be more widely available in other parts of the world, though it remains to be seen how well will such an experimental device perform on the market. Since Google ramped up its VR-related efforts, the Daydream platform received 150 new apps and users uploaded more than 10,000 360-degree videos on YouTube, Bavor said, suggesting that the Alphabet-owned company is expecting that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Google is looking to drive the growth of VR and related technologies from the ground up, helping developers create content as much as providing users with accessible hardware and software, Bavor asserted, thus mimicking the sentiments expressed by his colleagues at this year's Google I/O developer conference. The company's newly released Visual Positioning Service (VPS) and related tools should also have a positive effect on the number of VR apps that are being released on a regular basis, Google's VP said.
The Mountain View-based Internet giant repeatedly stated that it's looking to develop VR and AR technologies simultaneously, referring to them as two sides of the same "immersive computing spectrum." As part of those efforts, the company is currently in the process of developing standalone Daydream-powered head-mounted displays that are expected to launch in late 2017. More details on Google's VR and AR-related endeavors will likely be available in the coming months.