daydream-view-hands-on-15According to a report by The Verge, HTC’s VP of Design is leaving the company to join up with Google’s Daydream VR team.

Having joined the company in 2008, in recent year’s HTC’s VP of Design, Claude Zellweger, played a key role in the design of the Vive headset, The Verge reports. Now he’s taking that experience with both mobile and VR design over to the Google Daydream VR team, according to a tweet by Zellweger.

The Verge confirmed with HTC that Zellweger has left the company, following the same destiny as two colleagues who had both joined the company as part of the same acquisition:

In 2014, HTC lost its longtime design chief, Scott Croyle, who started afresh with the Nextbit cloud-centric smartphone. Less than a year later, Croyle’s successor at HTC, Jonah Becker, departed the company to head up industrial design at Fitbit. The two of them initially joined HTC when their design company, One & Co, was acquired by the Taiwanese electronics maker in 2008, and their third partner in that venture was Claude Zellweger. Eight years after joining HTC, Zellweger now completes the One & Co exodus.

We noted recently that a slew of new job listings for Google’s VR/AR team pointed toward new, more ambitious hardware in the works by the company; Zellweger’s purported new role seems aligned with that effort.

SEE ALSO
Vive President Says Next-gen VR Headsets Likely to Come in 1 to 3 Year Cycles

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  • Mei Ling

    What is Google cooking up behind the scenes? Something far more advanced than anything that is and has yet to come?

    • Gus Bisbal

      Or something pretty much the same with more a different spin.

      Just because something is new does not make it a revolution.

    • TheVillasurfer

      I think there are too many technological limitations at the moment for them to get too ahead of the game, but I think in time, and to an extent, yes. Very excited about Google getting further involved.

  • OgreTactics

    Google has Android, Gear, Daydream and Tango meaning they’re far beyond on the Virtual software front. They hiring is ambitious but now it’s just a matter of who leads the VR conception effort, to what objective and when.

    VR+smartphone is their gateway opportunity to simultaneously “kill” Oculus/Vive and Apple…doubt they’ll take advantage of it soon and well enough, but as for as the different ingredients and components go for a first true Virtual device that is not an impractical gadget, it’s all there.

    • MosBen

      Google own part or all of Magic Leap as well, right? It does seem like they’re getting ready for some kind of big announcement later this year. They announced the Pixel phones and the View last Fall. Similarly, Samsung’s GearVR releases have been later in the year as well, and with last year’s release being more of a refinement they may be getting ready for a more substantial upgrade. I’d say that there’s smart money on some interesting things happening in the mobile VR space this Fall.

      • user

        google owns only a part of it. but they also own parts of uber, airbnb, snap inc, stripe and spacex. that doesnt mean they wont build competing products.

      • OgreTactics

        They also own part of Bloombox, which like Magic Leap is a vaporware, so let’s not even talk about it.

        The smart money, is unfortunately unlikely for this year. We might get a GearVR 2 with an external portable tracker, head-band design and wider FOV, but without Tango there’s absolutely no fucking point in VR headsets.

    • hyperskyper

      Mobile VR won’t be as good as current desktop VR for many years.

      • OgreTactics

        It already is in terms of hierarchical meaning of concepts. That’s why the GearVR + Galaxy S7/Note sold 5 millions and the Oculus/Vive not even 300k. I’m talking about the headset not the machine which has nothing to do with it.

        But you’ll say “but room-scale, and head-tracking and controller”…sure. And yet nobody gives a shit about that in front of a Headset that is simply light, untethered and transportable. Then the question is when we’ll get full-scale head/body tracking, hand interaction with components like Tango or RealSense, and then wireless sync/stream from a machine to another which at this point will make PC VR HMDs completely moot, bulky and unecessary devices.

        • $800 products sells worse than a $100 product

          Guess that’s what you want to say. :)

        • hyperskyper

          Nothing in your comment makes any sense. The Vive and Rift headsets are way more advanced than mobile cases that you strap to your head. Nobody cares about room-scale and controllers????? You are kidding right? I have a mobile VR headset as well as a Vive and I am 10000% positive that mobile VR is far behind desktop VR in every way. Everyone I know that has used my Vive has called it nothing less than mind-blowing and they spent hours without getting the least bit bored. Everyone that has tried the mobile headset has gotten bored after 5-10 minutes. Turning your head and looking at things is not the same as walking around and actually interacting with your environment. The interactive experiences of the Vive are far too detailed for a phone to run anyway. Mobile VR will NO DOUBT replaced tethered desktop VR someday, but no time soon that’s for sure!

          • MosBen

            Look, I find him thoroughly obnoxious, but he’s right. Given the choice between a headset that works with the phone that they need anyway and presents a good-enough VR experience without wires and bulky computers, and a much more expensive VR product that requires a high performance PC that they don’t otherwise need and which has a cumbersome design, light, mobile and fitting with their life wins. There are super expensive TVs that are technically “the best”, but most people don’t need the best, and certainly aren’t willing to pay to have it.

            Mobile VR will advance as phone tech advances, which is pretty fast. PC-based VR will evolve more slowly because it’s so expensive that they’re not going to require people to buy new HMDs every other year. Yes, it will always have an edge in terms of the fidelity that it can provide, but once mobile VR is able to provide room scale experiences with good fidelity body tracking the graphical power of the PC-based HMDs won’t matter to most people.

            But then, I think that HTC and Oculus know that, so I have a sneaking suspicion that in the next iteration of their HMDs we may see a move to self-contained mobile sets.

          • Mobile sets? You expecting maybe Fallout 4 or other games like Doom 4 on mobile?

          • PrymeFactor

            You think that’s the main thing everyone wants to use VR for?

            Laughable

          • And where did you get “everyone” from?

            PC users.

          • MosBen

            1) Most people aren’t going to, and won’t really want to, play those games at all, let alone in VR, and 2) give mobile devices a couple years and they’ll get there.

          • That’s irrelevant, No one on PC cares what mobile users want.

            Why do ye think folks keep saying “lack of good games”?

            Don’t know what you are talking about there fella :)

            This is a VR website which highlights games so you could be in the wrong place.

            This is what they want.
            http://vrsource.com/9-best-unofficial-vr-games-1323/

            And this
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jsu21Q2Z5Y

          • MosBen

            I feel like we may be talking past each other. Yes, the community of PC VR folks want XYZ. But this is a very small group of early adopters with lots of disposable money and a pretty high level of technical sophistication. They may not care what mobile VR users want/like, but companies that want to sell as many HMDs and games as possible ABSOLUTELY care if mobile VR has a greater chance to get more customers through the digital door. Right now VR is a niche, and unlike some other posters, I think that VR could happily continue in a niche without imploding while the tech matures. But, of course, nobody in the business of VR wants it to be a niche market for one second longer than it needs to be.

            So while there will probably always be a hardest of the hardcore VR fans who maintain bulky, expensive machines to be on the bleeding edge of what is possible, MOST VR is likely to happen in the mobile space, especially once mobile HMDs are able to provide room scale experiences with good body tracking, which is currently the biggest advantage that PC VR has.

          • If HTC/RIFT wants to move onto mobile then they must first make their software stream PC games to the mobile device.

            Valve/Rift are gaming focused companies that want triple A experiences and all other gaming experiences. There is software that does this available now.

            Another option would be to pack a gpu/cpu/memory or w/e to boost the capabilities of the phones, but that more expensive.

            Doing this would make VR less expensive especially the streaming option.

            Then both companies can serve both markets.

            Considering HTC is phone manufacturer, they can bundle phones with their new Vive. And new Rift w/ galaxies.

            So it’s a win/win for everyone, not just mobile users alone.

            However, the phones would need better screens so there is no blur w/ much better resolution specifically for VR and HDR for added realism and immersion.

            And better FOV w/ widescreen so it all looks n feels natural alongside roomscale.

          • Red Sand Junky

            You’re most definitely talking past each other. PC gamers and mobile gamers are already a very different crowd, and so will be the PC VR and mobile VR enthusiasts.

            It can be argued that a PC’s processing power gives it a significant lead in providing experiences that are more immersive in VR. Mobile VR can’t compete with the level of realism and “presence” that PCs can, but for some people, it’ll be good enough to enjoy a decent enough experience and still be able to… you know, eat.

            There’s plenty of money and interest in both platforms to drive VR, though.

          • MosBen

            You’re right that PC based VR has a rather large advantage in terms of processing power and translating that into very detailed scenes that are more immersive than mobile VR. I suspect, however, that a rather large portion of the immersion is in accurate body tracking and the ability to move around in a play space. Graphics matter for immersion, but they mostly matter in meeting some minimum threshold. And it’s all about tradeoffs, right? If mobile VR is able to provide body tracking and room scale experiences at cheaper prices and without a tether how much is it worth to average people to get that extra bit of oomph in graphics?

            I think a big part of whether PC-based systems remain a part of the equation will be whether they can figure our a reliable, light weight wireless system that can scale when HMDs have 4k screens. Yes, TPCast is around the corner and I’ve read other wireless solutions say that their systems can handle 4k, but we’ll have to wait and see. But I am convinced that wired HMDs are going to end up a feature of this first generation of consumer VR and no further.

          • OgreTactics

            One detail about it: VR Headset shouldn’t and were never meant to integrate or be tied to a device. That’s why the fact that it’s not already wireless is mind-boggling. It’s like if the first console or computer weren’t released as machine but where tied to one single TV or screen, or vice-versa.

            VR Headset are ONLY meant to be the new visual and interactional interfacing device to replace screen+controller/mouse, NOT consoles or machines, if only for the convenience of a smartphone but even then: soon you’ll be able to sync and stream your VR to any machine.

            So yes, Mobile VR Headset are the only relevant future, especially knowing that everything and more and more is becoming mobile.

          • As such shall pave the way for HTC’s 4K HDR Mobile Phones w/ Eye tracking along with other phones to do the same like galaxy for it’ Oculus device.

            But then ther eis the widescreen/FOV issue that needs to be adressed to get rid of the goggle view and provide a more natural view with periphal vision support.

            And finally streaming games to VR from any device and for PC games to take full advantage of the HDR, 4K and larger FOV/Widescreen w/ roomscale and eyetracking.

            Then finally the PC requirements for VR can be much much much lower.

            https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=stream+to+VR&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

            So streaming needs to be added to Steam VR to make this happen.

            Streaming to VR HMD on PC shall happen a lot sooner than mobile phones being as powerful as PCs(if possible). It’s already available for mobile HMDs.

            Valves and Oculus’ primary concerns is PC gaming, not mobile gaming.

            So any venture into being Mobile only shall put PCs first and therefore shall not make that move until they make sure PC games can be played on the Mobile HMDs at least via streaming.

            3DNes Pro supports streaming VR programs already :)

          • OgreTactics

            “HTC’s 4K HDR Mobile Phones” yup, they have an exit card, in fact Sony do too with their Xperia phones.

            But wether it’s a PC, a console or a mobile, it shouldn’t make any difference for a true virtual headset: streaming light 4K (supersampled like on consoles or PCs, HDR doesn’t change much in processing) to a headset with new AV1-type codec, thanks to WifiAD standards like WifiHD, is already feasible.

            Except that we had to count on small start-ups to the job of billion dollars companies barely 6 months after the release of “consumer” headset, like TPCast.

            But in the end, the biggest differentiator and incentive of Virtual Headset will be AR. PC/Video Game are just the gadget/experience/media starting point, but the potential of AR is 10x that of smartphone apps. And that’s why I believe that that the incentive for mobile VR is not just 10x more enticing than PC VR but also final: if you have a VH with a light, portable, put’n’lock design, the wireless/streaming capability to be sync with any device, with the integrated UHD tactile screen and the full proficiency of a smartphones the dual-lense tracking/see-through/AR/motion/interaction cameras on the back…the point of any tethered especially PC VR Headset is moot.

            I think this year is going to be pretty boring in term of VR advancement, yet the only thing we’ll get is a 4K Galaxy with a more powerful mobile chip, and probably a GearVR with a put/lock design, (hopefully) a 120° Fov GearVR, and hopefully accompanied by external head/body tracking capabilities as hinted by this patent https://www.sammobile.com/2016/11/30/patent-application-shows-next-gen-gear-vr-headset-with-position-face-and-eye-tracking/

            And I’m pretty sure soon after people will release the same wireless plugins, but for GearVR.

            It means that at this point, next year you will finally have internal wireless and Tango components on a Galaxy/GearVR system which makes me wonder what Oculus Rift, PSVR or Vive could possibly offer as options to even equate the odds of the mobile VR incentives.

          • Well, they are gonna have those PC games for VR that everyone(Ya know, those PC Gamers who those headsets were made for) is waiting for eventually w/ those next gen headsets whether it streams PC games or not w/ all those features mentioned.

            So folks can play PC games in VR those won’t ever make it to mobile within the next decade or so.

            And yes, most want to play games like Fallout 4 and Doom 4 in VR. Folks are doing it right now w/o VR support from devs.

          • OgreTactics

            “Most” as in a ridiculous 150.000k people most of which either niche hobbyist or wealth agencies/companies for the sake of innovation, vs. the 5 -millions- GearVR headsets?

            I don’t understand or see what would be the incentive of playing Fallout 4/Doom 4 on a bulky, home-only, PC-limited, VR capability only headset, vs playing Fallout 4/Doom 4 on a (or rather through) a versatile mobile/transportable, hardware agnostic, VR headset which happens to double as a convenient high-end smartphone which in terms of screen resolution, eye-tracking, camera tracking capabilities, interaction and app-ecosystem evolves 3 times fasters and wider?

          • Because it’s all they got now. Not phones playing big budget games w/ inferior specs or not so big games with GearVR lens far worse than Rift/Vive lens.

            That immersion breaking screendoor effect.

            There is also that Vive tracker.

          • OgreTactics

            Screendoor effect? The GearVR has the highest resolution screen, and thus at most a “led curtain” effect. Plus I release with the CV1 that I’m not so much bothered by resolution anymore so much I find the Vive and GearVR satisfactory in clarity, but the unbearable tunnel vision of which the Oculus seem to be the worse. Also the fresnel light bleeding and blur.

            And the Vive tracker is ridiculous, nobody but a few niche dev and experimenter will use, except VR has been around for 4 fucking years now, there is no justification for these “consumer” headset not to be anywhere practical as any other practical device whether it’s smartphone, laptop, tablet, console, TV etc…

          • You should look up VR tech/gadgets or w/e. There are plenty especially full body motion tracker.

            So it’s only the beginning.

            https://steamcommunity.com/app/358040/discussions/0/357286119107156952/

            Although these guys say the door effect is the worts o the 3.

          • OgreTactics

            I have both: it depends on the phone you use. The GearVR with S7 or Note has a way better resolution but a somewhat narrow FOV (although oddly better than the Oculus), but Vive screen is clear and has the best FOV impression.

            The beginning was 25 years ago. This cycle started 4 years ago with Oculus kickstarter. Even my grandma has heard about VR, everybody knows, then there is the initial amazement for most, then there’s actually buying and then using it…

          • The beginning of the tracker.

            Don’t know what you’re going on about…

          • OgreTactics

            I don’t understand the topic at hand anymore. Yes sure Fallout 4/Doom 4 is going to be on PC/Console for years before mobile are powerful enough to PLAY them. That’s not the point, the point is that the VR headset they’ll be displayed on, when and if they become wirelessly “pluggable” to any machine, means that a mobile VR headset will be able to streamplay at high definition from any machine whether it’s PC, laptop, screen, console etc…And in this case, there is no point in a VR headset that is tethered, bulky and only acts as a headset for one machine.

          • You keep saying tethered, bulky, as if those headset models are relevant at all. Everyone hates them and wants them done away w/.

            So don’t bother mentioning them.

            Mobiles can already do that via 3rd party software like Riftcat.

            Also

            https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=Gear+VR+console&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=Playing+xbox+games+via+the+Gear+VR

            https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=Gear+VR+console&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=use+Gear+VR+support+ps4

            There ya go, Gear VR on consoles. Play any tripple A games on Gera VR or any other VR HMD.

          • OgreTactics

            See? There are already softwares (Riftcat + VRidge are necessary actually). Truth is single 5Ghz WifiAC and common codecs are however not enough to get a no-latency low-compression stream.

            And it turns out that 2017 is the year of release of both WifiAD (60ghz), WifiHD standard and AV1 codec…also I’m pretty sure whatever the GearVR2 will be, they’ll be wireless plugin like the TPCast…

          • Mobile still needs the necessary hardware and peripherals to catch up and be on par with future generations of VR HMDs and by then, folks on PC may get the headset they desire with w/e innovations that come with it including perhaps connecting to multiple devices.

            Maybe a version for mobile versions that connect to PC may even happen as an option. Of course if it gets swiped(which may or may not happen often), then you got nothin’. Perhaps then, both the PC and mobile ecosystems can intertwine or combine :)

            So far you have only compared the future of mobile to current HMD which is a bad move. :)

          • user

            it depends. if pc vr can offer something really interesting that other systems cant then people could stop to buy tablets and smartwatches and buy pcs again. but the problem of the pc is that its this super powerful machine that should be able to power and control many devices at home but it is disconnected. nowadays it lacks the vision that could be sold to customers.

          • MosBen

            True. Maybe the PC HMD makers are going to come up with something truly novel that we haven’t considered yet. But my guess is that the evolutionary path of the PC HMD is wider FOV, better graphical fidelity/better screens, etc. This is basically the same path that mobile HMDs are on, they’re just a couple years behind. But I have a strong suspicion that we’re going to see that people care much less about horsepower than they care about being able to pack their HMD into a carrying case to take to a friend’s house.

          • TheVillasurfer

            Anyone who is used to using a Rift or Vive could never go back to a mobile device, not for a few years yet. VR on smart phones will be used initially to expand interest in VR and expand the market. Roomscale and tracking is vital for an immersion and I don’t see having a few wires or a hmd as an issue.

          • MosBen

            Room scale and tracking are indeed a big deal, which is why PC-based systems are competitive with mobile systems at all right now. But I think that you’re underestimating how much “people who are used to using a Rift/Vive” right now are VR enthusiasts who don’t mind paying lots of money and dealing with annoying form factors in order to taste the future. My parents are certainly not going to be building a gaming PC and dealing with a corded HMD anytime soon.

            On the other hand, my dad did recently get a Galaxy S7 phone because he needed a new phone, and it came with a GearVR, so he’s played around with that a bit. Being cheap and easy to integrate with the things that you already have, like a phone, are huge for people that aren’t normally early adopters. And once mobile-based VR can do room scale, which I’d guess is 1-2 years out, then the big advantages that PC-based HMDs have will disappear. They’ll still be more powerful, capable of greater graphical fidelity, but I think that we’ll learn very quickly that normal people don’t care about that nearly as much as they care about convenience and comfort.

        • Actually, if certain mobile gadgets offered roomscale, then folks would care as it’s affordable. :)

          Also, new wireless slim lightweight iterations with widescreen and better FOV(HDR later) shall make current iterations of PC VR HMDs completely moot. You seem to forget evolution :)

          Other things you mentioned are also coming if not available already.

          You also forgot to mention you can stream anything from PC or at least games to mobile vr. That would have helped your case more.

  • Technology is such a realm, that evens the slightest change in it, can be seen and felt on a major scale. Let us see that what all major changes would be there with such a major shift.

  • Icebeat

    Congratulation to HTC, because the design of the current Vive is a Shit, maybe now they can hire a real designer,