Google’s Daydream VR Platform Gets Chromecast Support, YouTube Watch Parties and Chrome Browser

Daydream Chromecast
Courtesy of Google

Users of Google’s Daydream virtual reality headsets will soon be able to share the videos they’re watching and the games they’re playing with others.

Coming with the next version of Android, code-named Android O, Daydream is going to get official support for Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter, making it possible to display everything a Daydream user is seeing on a nearby TV set — an experience that is not unlike the way Sony’s PlayStation VR headset lets others in the room participate as the audience of VR experiences.

YouTube is also looking to make virtual reality less isolating: The Google-owned video service will roll out support for social watch parties later this year, allowing up to three users to watch 360-degree videos at the same time.

Members of Google’s Daydream team shared these updates at the company’s Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, where the company announced on Wednesday that it is working with HTC and Lenovo on standalone Daydream VR headsets.

On Thursday, Google’s VR team shared a few more updates about things coming soon to Daydream, which include a headset-optimized version of Google’s Chrome web browser. Chrome on Daydream will not only allow users to browse regular websites, but also access Web-based virtual and augmented reality experiences.

The company also shared a preview of upcoming user interface changes for Daydream, which include a home screen that’s supposed to make it easier to find new VR experiences, as well as a better integration of notifications through a new in-app dashboard.

Google VP of VR Clay Bavor characterized all of these changes, and other work Google is doing in the VR space, as building blocks to build more natural computing interfaces. “They enable computing to work more like we do,” he said.