This week we would like to share with you the newest feature addition to our device detection, the brand new property "Device Certifications". This property will be available exclusively to our Enterprise edition and will enable the detection of several device certifications, the first of which will be Google Daydream.
Google Daydream is a virtual reality (VR) platform that is built into the release of Android 7 Nougat. The Daydream platform is built upon and will replace Google Cardboard, the current VR platform which has been in service since 2014. Unlike Cardboard, Daydream will only work on devices that meet required hardware and software specifications. So far the handset manufacturers Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, ASUS and Alcatel have partnered with Google to label new compatible devices as Daydream-ready.
Whilst the concept of VR is over 80 years old, it's only begun to grasp at its potential in recent years thanks to technology advances. Oculus Rift helped to show what could be achieved and from there it has begun to snowball; many of the big industry players have thrown their weight into the ring hoping to emerge the VR champion. Whilst most VR systems focus on the end user experience, Google's avenue is to target developers and aim for a unified service to facilitate innovation. On an immersion level, mobile VR such as Daydream is unlikely to be able to compete with stand-alone systems backed up by powerful GPUs, at least in the short term, but given the integration with Android, long term prospects could be very rosy.
Even though Android 7 is yet to be released, last month saw the introduction of the first Daydream-Ready smartphones to the market, the ZTE Axon 7, quickly followed by the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe. It's worth mentioning that at the moment the Huawei Nexus 6P is the only phone supported to be used in the Daydream development kit but, whilst it can run the platform the phone itself does not meet the Daydream-ready standards. Google itself states that "The 6P's thermal performance is not representative of the consumer Daydream-ready devices that will be launching later this year. In particular, expect the 6P to thermally throttle CPU and GPU performance after a short period of use, depending on workload."
To run Daydream you will need a device that runs Android 7 Nougat and that device will also need certain hardware specifications, apparently, at least a Full HD OLED screen alongside a Snapdragon 820 SoC and a RAM of 4GB or equivalent.That being said, the Nexus 6P being used as the developer reference is powered by a Snapdragon 810 and only has 3GB of RAM. Note that you won't actually need a Daydream-ready device to run Daydream but don't expect it to play nicely with all phones and you can just about forget about getting any support if your device doesn't have the 'ready' certification.
There's a case to be heard that while only Daydream-ready handsets will carry the certification, the amount of Daydream-compatible handsets will be far greater. The official certification helps to keep critics at bay, as only Daydream-ready devices can be used for evaluation and Google can guarantee they provide the desired quality. At the same time the Daydream VR experience and thus brand penetration will be open to a greater number of users via Daydream-compatible devices, either directly or in conjunction with components added to head mounted displays (HMD). Coincidently such HMDs have been announced by both ASUS and ZTE in the run-up to Android 7 release. Whatever happens next it's an exciting time in the industry for VR.
We're also adding a further property and an additional value this week: you'll now be able to use 51Degrees to detect whether a device has a dual back camera as well as the megapixel value of the second back snapper. This additional property will be available for our Enterprise customers and the new names and descriptions are as follows:
- New property: SecondBackCameraMegaPixels
- Description: Refers to the resolution of the device's second back camera in megapixels.
- New values under CameraTypes property: SecondBackFacing
- Description: The device has two back cameras.
Weekly Data Update
- Last week we added support for 222 new devices.
- The current number of Premium profile combinations in our database is 409,847
- The current number of Enterprise profile combinations in our database is 511,683