Daydream Labs: exploring and sharing VR’s possibilities

MAY 19, 2016

Posted by Andrey Doronichev, Group Product Manager, Google VR

In Daydream Labs, the Google VR team explores virtual reality’s possibilities and shares what we learn with the world. While it’s still early days, the VR community has already come a long way in understanding what works well in VR across hardware, software, video, and much more. But, part of what makes developing for VR so exciting is that there’s still so much more to discover.

Apps are a big focus for Daydream Labs. In the past year, we’ve built more than 60 app experiments that test different use cases and interaction designs. To learn fast, we build two new app prototypes each week. Not all of our experiments are successful, but we learn something new with each one.

For example, in one week we built a virtual drum kit that used HTC Vive controllers as drumsticks. The following week, when we were debating how to make typing in VR more natural and playful, we thought — “what if we made a keyboard out of tiny drums?”

We were initially skeptical that drumsticks could be more efficient than direct hand interaction, but the result surprised us. Not only was typing with drumsticks faster than with a laser pointer, it was really fun! We even built a game that lets you track your words per minute (mine was 50 wpm!).

Daydream Labs is just getting started. This post is the first in an ongoing series sharing what we’ve learned through our experiments so stay tuned for more! You can also see more of what we’ve learned about VR interactions, immersion, and social design by watching our Google I/O talks on the live stream.