In what first arose as a tech rumor, but which was later reported by Wall Street Journal, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is believed to have prepared a team that is working upon developing an android based virtual reality (VR) software. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Mountain View based company is said to have ‘tens of engineers’ that are hard at work in developing a VR program to take on the Facebook owned Oculus VR program.
Continuing at Google’s time tested business model of providing free software services to users, but generating alternate mechanisms for creating ad-based revenue, this android VR software will also be provided for free to hardware manufacturers. Keeping this VR free might give Google that initial push which is very necessary for Google in the VR spectrum.
Google has been very late to the VR party, because few names have already established themselves well in the VR market. Oculus is a prime example of the same, which was acquired by Facebook late last year in a $2 billion deal. Oculus also teamed up with Samsung to create a VR headset late last year. HTC too hasn’t been behind in the fray as it also entered the VR arena by partnering with the iconic gaming company, ‘Valve’ to build VR devices for HTC, and called as ‘Vive’.
Earlier in Dember 2014, Google has launched the Cardboard VR SDK for Android and Unity to provide a platform for the developers to produce more apps for Google’s DIY Cardboard headsets. At that time, with only 24 supportive apps for these cardboard VRs, Google has already shipped over 500,000 units of Google Cardboards.
Amidst all the above, it is only now that Google has decided to jump in the ring. Also, the zero pricing strategy for its VR software is nothing but an attempt to claw at the VR market that has already been concretized by the early presence of Oculus.
However, the uptake of Android VR software depends to a large extent on the separate purchase of the VR headset, although such headsets can be expected to be of lesser costs as compared to the other existing VR devices.
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