Google is continuing its push into the virtual reality arena with the formal launch of its VR Software Development Kit v1.0, which it has been providing in beta format.

Google was an early pioneer in the latest virtual reality explosion, releasing a low-cost smartphone add-on dubbed Google Cardboard in 2014. While the device allowed users to use their smartphones as basic virtual reality headsets, and spawned imitators, re-implementations, and successors, its quality - naturally - failed to match the high-priced alternatives from Oculus VR and HTC. Earlier this year, rumours swirled that the company was developing a true VR headset based on a blending of its augmented reality Glass headset and Cardboard creation, while the launch of Android 7.0 Nougat brought with it a new smartphone VR platform dubbed Daydream.

Now, the company has announced that its Virtual Reality SDK is out of beta and ready for production use. 'The Google VR SDK 1.0 with support for Daydream has graduated out of beta, and is now available on the Daydream developer site,' said Nathan Martz, product manager of Google VR, on the company's developer blog. 'Our updated SDK simplifies common VR development tasks so you can focus on building immersive, interactive mobile VR applications for Daydream-ready phones and headsets, and supports integrated asynchronous reprojection, high fidelity spatialized audio, and interactions using the Daydream controller.'

The full first release includes native integration with the Unity and Unreal Engine 4 game engines, and is designed for use with the company's DIY developer kit based around a Nexus 6P - though the company warns that the device hits a thermal throttle limit after a short period of use, something 'consumer Daydream-ready devices that will be launching later this year' should not experience. More details on the release are available from the Daydream developers' site.
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