It’s especially impressive that The New York Times – a company so well known and respected in the “old media” world of newspapers – hasn’t hesitated to push beyond the written word and lead the news industry with 360-degree video. You might be familiar with the NYT VR app featuring well-made non-fiction films shot in immersive video.
But it’s latest and boldest initiative is The Daily 360 – a daily 360-degree video shot by journalists using Samsung Gear 360 cameras. The first video places the viewer inside the wreckage of a social hall that was destroyed in Yemen by a Saudi airstrike. But the NYT mentioned that other videos could include more light-hearted things like style and fashion, or even feature picturesque environments like sunsets on which viewers can meditate.
Daydream View, Google’s highly anticipated virtual reality headset and controller for Daydream-ready smartphones, will be available November 10th on the Google Store and at retailers across five countries including Canada.
Being soft and lightweight and with a modern design, the Daydream View is significantly different from phone-powered headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and its own line of Google Cardboard headsets.
The first compatible phones will be Google’s own Pixel line of phones which just launched last month. The headset will be available for $99 CAD through Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Best Buy as well as Google’s own online store where there’s a waiting list available. It’s also available in the US, the UK, Germany and Australia.
Google is positioning itself as a leader in the AR and VR space – facing rivals including Facebook-backed Oculus. In a series of strategic acquisitions, it bought AR and VR eye-tracking startup Eyefluence just last week.
The stated goal of Daydream – unlike more expensive hardware like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – is to bring high-quality VR to everyone.