This site has been archived and remains strictly as a historical reference for developers who actively maintain apps built using the legacy Google VR SDK, which was last updated in 2019 and is no longer receiving updates.
  • All developers actively developing experiences for Google Cardboard should use the new open source Cardboard SDKs for iOS, Android NDK, and Unity XR Plugin. These new SDKs offer streamlined APIs, improved device compatibility, and built-in viewer profile QR code scanning.
  • The Daydream View VR headset is no longer available for purchase as of October 15, 2019. Existing apps on supported devices are unaffected for users who previously installed those applications. It is no longer possible to opt-in to Daydream distribution via Google Play.

Troubleshooting and helpful tips


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.