Earnings calls can be a mixed bag. If things are business as usual, the meetings can be, well, boring.
Sometimes, however, these reports allow us to extract some juicy gossip. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, proved my point yesterday when, during Alphabet's earnings call, he said that there will be 11 Daydream VR-compatible smartphones by the end of 2017.
For the uninitiated, Daydream VR is Google's VR experience that uses your smartphone, an inexpensive Google VR headset, and a touch controller. According to The Verge:
Its big distinction from the larger PC-tethered alternatives like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is in just how light and comfortable it is. Obviously, a Daydream phone is also much more portable and versatile too, but for me the standout feature is that I can wear that headset without it feeling heavy and tiring after only a few minutes.
This is cool news from Google — more compatible smartphones mean more consumer access to VR. Daydream is considerably cheaper than many other headsets at $79. That price jumps up, of course, when you factor in the cost of the phone, but that's why it's great to have more phones be compatible; If the phone already in your pocket can do VR, you don't need to buy an expensive VR rig on top of that.
There's no word yet on if Google's augmented reality "Tango" phones will be expanded as well.
Pichai did not specify which smartphone developers would be bringing Daydream VR compatibility to their next devices. However, we do know that Samsung will be bringing support to its Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus devices. Currently, the Moto Z, ZTE Axon 7, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, and Asus ZenFone AR are the only Android phones apart from the Pixel and Pixel XL to support Daydream.
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