Alcatel will launch smartphones for Google’s VR system in 2017

The Chinese smartphone maker Alcatel will only introduce smartphones in 2017 that are compatible with Daydream, Google’s VR system for more expensive smartphones. Google itself said last week that the first Daydream smartphones will appear this year.

Alcatel talks about “multiple devices” that it wants to release and that can handle Daydream. Those devices will run on Android N, the new version of Google’s mobile operating system that has been in preview since March. Android N will be released this summer.

The manufacturer does not disclose any details about the smartphones, but given Google’s requirements, they must have a high-end soc, various sensors and OLED screens. Alcatel now does not make a high-end smartphone and is mainly active in the market for cheaper smartphones.

Other manufacturers will probably come earlier with Daydream-compatible smartphones. In any case, Google will probably release Nexus devices that work with the VR system. It is also possible that Samsung, HTC and LG will come with such phones.

Daydream is Google’s second VR platform after Cardboard. The platform is based on headsets into which a smartphone has to be inserted. The smartphones that, according to Google, provide a good VR experience are labeled ‘Daydream-ready’.

In addition to requirements for smartphones, Google has created reference designs for headsets and a controller. The controller includes a clickable trackpad and an orientation sensor for operation in the virtual space. The manufacturer further claims that the entire Android stack is optimized for Daydream, with particular attention to performance and low latency.

In addition, Google optimizes many apps for VR display. For example, Play Movies, Photos, Streetview and YouTube can be used completely in VR. In addition, third parties are coming up with apps that work in conjunction with Daydream, such as IMAX and Hulu for video viewing. The apps will have a special section in the Play Store, which will also be fully accessible in 360-degree mode. The platform will be released in the fall and then the first smartphones, headsets and controllers from manufacturers should also be available.