At the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California today, Google announced the release of tools for building applications and games for Google’s new Daydream mobile-focused virtual reality platform.
A native development kit (NDK) based in C++ for Daydream is being exposed in beta to provide “direct low-level access to all the features of our hardware and software platform,” Google Daydream product manager Nathan Martz said. A Unity plugin is available now, with a native Unity integration coming this summer, Martz said.
Developers familiar with the Unreal Engine can use the preview version of version 4.12 of the gaming engine, Martz said.
The Google VR software development kit (SDK) for Android now supports Daydream as well as Google’s low-cost Cardboard headset. The Google VR SDK for iOS currently does not support Daydream. Note that the Google VR SDK is the new name for the Cardboard SDK.
Google introduced Daydream during the I/O keynote yesterday, May 19. The technology is similar to Cardboard but is designed to deliver a higher-quality experience. The headset with a strap will make things more comfortable, a controller will make the experience more interactive, and performance will be solid thanks to the a new spec that phones will have to meet in order to be considered Daydream-ready. Google has collaborated with the Android team to make sure that Android N’s VR mode will be excellent, Martz said.
Find the new tools here, and check out Google’s instructions about using a Huawei Nexus 6P to set up a Daydream Development Kit here. For more on Google’s partnership with Epic Games around support for Unreal Engine, see our full story here.