I have to admit I was skeptical at reviews praising the new Daydream View by Google for bringing virtual reality to the masses. Sure, Daydream View is an affordable option to the likes of Oculus Rift and Vibe. It’s also soft, lightweight, comfortable and exceptionally easy to use with a Daydream-ready phone like Google Pixel. And it does provide an incredibly immersive experience.
I could easily see geeks like myself lining up to order this marvel of technology (I love that the word “geek” has become such a socially accepted label). But the masses? That I wasn’t so sure about.
Then I visited my brother Steve, my Daydream View and Google Pixel phone in hand. His being even more of a tekkie than I am, I knew he’d be eager to try it out.
But before I could even show it to Steve, my 11-year-old niece Jennifer shrieked and grabbed both the View and the controller out of my hands (obviously, manners aren’t a family strong suit).
“My friend Emily has one of these,” she excitedly told us, strapping on the headset like a pro. “That wizard movie…uh, please!”
Jennifer was referring to Google’s VR app based on a popular new film. She did say please, so for the next fifteen minutes or so, we watched her prance around, using the intuitive, first-of-its-kind, handheld controller as a wand to magically cast spells in her world of virtual reality.
We did have to wrestle the headset away from her, though, when my Uncle Al demanded from the next room, “Keep it down! I’m trying to watch a movie!”
“Sorry, Uncle, Al,” I said as I took the View to where both he and my grandfather were sitting on the couch, watching a Netflix movie. “But if you really want to see a film in private, try this on.”
It took a little goading, but Al finally strapped on the headset, and I launched the same Netflix movie he’d been watching. That was it. There was no going back once he was immersed in his own personal movie theater.
There was nothing else to do for the next 90 minutes but skip out for a pizza with brother Steve. Uncle Al was just finishing up when we got back.
“You looked like a fool in that thing,” Gramps told him. Then, after a little pause, he said, “Let me see that contraption.”
“Didn’t you always say you wanted to visit your father’s city in Europe,” I asked Gramps as Al handed him the Daydream View. “Well, now you can.”
Gramps became intrigued, and the next thing we knew, we were watching him turn his head in all directions to see everything his father had told him about the old country.
Steve never did get to experience that day what it might be like to travel to Mars in virtual reality. But while Gramps was virtually touring the homeland, Steve did order his own Pixel and Daydream View online (from Verizon, of course), so I didn’t feel too badly.
Most importantly, the reviewers proved me wrong. Three generations other than mine thoroughly enjoyed what they’d encountered during my visit. Maybe the Daydream View by Google really is the perfect vehicle for bringing virtual reality to the masses.
This content was created by an author contracted by Verizon Wireless for promotional purposes. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.