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Is Google Developing Its Very Own VR Hardware?


Google Cardboard, virtual reality

If anyone had any ounce of doubt left about virtual reality holding the key to the future’s ‘next big thing,’ the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 surely convinced them. Tech companies are determined to stake an early claim in the emerging market of virtual reality, and Google is getting right up there with the others.

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Or at least that’s the takeaway people seem to be focusing on in light of a few recent job postings, some of whom are focused Google developing its very own VR hardware.

Some of the listed job postings involve Google Cardboard, the cheap VR device that the company is using to get its foot in the door of the burgeoning VR field. But cozying up with the Cardboard job postings is a hidden surprise.

“Hardware Engineer, VR Camera Systems” doesn’t sound like something we’d ever pair with the Cardboard, simply because the Cardboard was designed as an almost disposable crib enabling smartphones to interface with VR apps.

The posting for VR Hardware Engineer also vaguely describes some of the things the employee will work on: developing “opto-electro-mechanical system concepts in conjunction with various Architecture leads before reducing them to schematics.”

But there’s more. Another Google job posting asks for a “Software Engineer, Virtual Reality,” whose job description talks about “building novel camera systems to capture stereo panoramic video.”

Based on these announcements alone we can tell Google is looking to allow non-Google employees to create amazing VR experiences with the help of a VR camera; it’s possible the end product will likely be mobile.

Google’s history is in line with the concept of crowdsourcing VR imagery, what with the company’s long experience in generating panoramic imagery for Google Street View and its Expeditions virtual tours project alike.

So it’s possible the search giant wants to build a VR simulacra of the entire world by putting a VR camera in the hands of millions of users – doesn’t it sound rather Googlely?

Even though Google is known for trying out various experimental products that may never see the light of day, this job posting seems to point into a very real direction. Why else would the company be so interested in knowing more about how VR devices work?

We haven’t got enough details to know whether Google’s possible VR headset would be more like the low-budget Samsung Gear VR, the pricier Oculus Rift. Google’s stronger push into VR was also noteworthy when it registered GoogleVirtualReality.com.
Image Source: The Guardian


About John W Arthur

john@thenextdigit.com'
John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

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