Google’s Daydream is what I would call the most travel-friendly VR solution yet. Its simple but elegant pointer-style Bluetooth controller means you aren’t reaching all over the place to work the VR interface, its comfortable fabric design is tolerable for long periods of wear, and sliding the phone into the viewer is a simple no buttons, no switches affair.
So, I decided to put these qualities to test on a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York last week. I had a variety of games (I didn’t play any), interactive experiences (many require an active internet connection), and a few movies I’d downloaded from Play Movies to watch. That last one seems to be the ideal mobile use case for VR: zoning out with a good, or at least entertaining, two hours while the world around you falls away. Watching a movie in VR is immensely private and can, in theory, help you forget you’re crammed in a giant aluminum tube with several-hundred other human beings. Sounds appealing!
And I have to say, when it works, it totally is. The two hours I spent watching Star Trek: Beyond from the comfort of the Daydream View were less stressful, less distracted, and more focused on the simple joy of watching a fun movie. So, all’s well then? Mobile VR is ready for prime time as a travel gadget?