November 6, 2019 update:
  • There's a new open source Cardboard SDK that offers a streamlined API, improved device compatibility, and built-in viewer profile QR code scanning. We recommend that all developers actively building for Google Cardboard migrate to the new Cardboard SDK: iOS, Android NDK, Unity XR Plugin (SDK)
October 15, 2019 update:
  • The Daydream View VR headset is no longer available for purchase. However, you can continue to use the existing Google VR SDK to update and distribute your apps to the Google Play Store, and make them available to users in the Daydream app.

Troubleshooting and helpful tips

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Flickering environment

If the environment flickers while see-through mode is enabled, try moving to a room with different lighting conditions. Some LED light sources are known to produce a flickering image.

Degraded tracking performance

If tracking degrades while see-through mode is enabled, try moving to a room with different lighting conditions. Some lighting is known to degrade tracking. LED lighting is especially likely to cause flicker and impact performance. While see-through mode is enabled on the device, even if not in active use, the tracking quality is slightly impacted. Simply disable the see-through mode feature and reboot to return the device to the original state.

Design guidelines

Design guidelines for shaders

  • Game engines don’t typically expect to have to alpha composite correctly over a background and thus sometimes ignore the alpha channel. Because see-through mode is often intended to replace the background, special shaders may be needed to correctly compose transparency over see-through mode content.

  • In Unity, any shader that uses Blend SrcAlpha OneMinusSrcAlpha should add the alpha channel blend function to it to composite properly with see-through mode:

    Blend SrcAlpha OneMinusSrcAlpha, OneMinusDstAlpha One
  • The Google VR SDK for Unity provides the material GoogleVR > Beta > Materials > GvrSeeThroughUI. This material is a clone of Unity's built-in DefaultUI material with the blend function fixed up for see-through mode.

Design guidelines for tone mapping

  • Most cameras used for see-through mode are almost certainly monochrome. To enable greater creative control over the images use the Tone-mapping API to color cast and tone map the see-through mode images to control the mood of your experience through creative color choices.