Google Intros Daydream 2.0, New VR & AR Developer Tools

May 18, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Tango and Daydream are Google’s two emerging ecosystems, and for those interested in developing content for them, Google is announcing some new tools and additions to existing development tools that will help you do so, as well as some extensive changes to the two platforms. Daydream is getting an update, called Daydream 2.0 Euphrates, that brings a wide range of new features to users, such as casting and recording, on top of a wide variety of performance tweaks. Tango, meanwhile, is going to be featured in an experimental Chromium update shipping with AR support. Building on Euphrates and improvements to Tango, Google is giving developers the ability to see changes made to an app or game in real time with Instant Preview, and render compute-intensive content on the go with minimal power by using a suite of tricks and workarounds collectively known as Seurat.

Instant Preview is one of the biggest changes to come to mobile VR development in quite some time. Developers can make a change to their app, and the output of a nearby Daydream device will change to reflect it instantly, hence the name. This means that the development time normally spent recompiling an app, testing a feature just coded in, then tweaking it and testing it again can be drastically shortened. It’s even feasible to have a tester wearing the Daydream device and letting the developer know how things are going as changes are made in real time.

Seurat is just as big as Instant Preview¬†but in a far different way. Some of the most powerful smartphones on the market today are dwarfed in raw graphical power by game consoles and even fairly modest gaming PCs. Naturally, this limits the sort of content that can be put on them, including VR content, and that’s where Seurat comes in. Google has yet to go into much detail, but this technology is essentially a series of workarounds that allow impressive graphical fidelity on mobile hardware. The solution was designed specifically for VR content and has already proven itself by its involvement in a mobile project related to Rogue One, the newest Star Wars movie. Google will be releasing more information on Seurat and its other VR and AR-related initiatives later this year.