Recent news coming from the side of the corporate giant suggests that Google is starting its own trek down the VR path and turning its attention towards this sector of the industry a lot more attentively than it has so far. While it already had a Virtual Reality division created a fair amount of time ago, the only result that came out of it has been the Google Cardboard.
The Google Cardboard device consisted in a highly affordable option that could allow anyone with a smartphone to experience virtual reality to some degree. The name was inspired by the device’s very construction: literally a cut out cardboard box that could fold with your phone in it and two sets of lens that could enable the VR experience with a great number of apps.
While that’s all great and I’m glad to see Google had the initiative to create a VR device that doesn’t cost you your weekly earnings, Microsoft and Facebook’s take on virtual reality makes Google’s attempt looks laughable. Oculus Rift – property of Facebook – is probably the first name that comes to mind when you ask anyone about virtual reality; it’s the thing that you could find on display and ready to be tried out at a lot of booths at fairs, in malls and other commercial centers and big electronics stores.
Similarly, Microsoft has been developing its own version of virtual and augmented reality with the device they call HoloLens. The HoloLens has a seemingly different approach to it all as it prefers referring to its product as a holographic projector of sorts; it drifts away from the idea of the Oculus Rift for example – which is heavily reliant on virtual reality as means of entertainment.
Instead, HoloLens has a more professional approach and sees more utility in applying augmented reality in the way it functions. One could claim that AR is a partial form of VR so there’s no telling to what degree the HoloLens could apply as a viable entertainment device.
So what is Google’s response to all of this? One can assume that since the last AR/VR device Google has developed – the Google Glass – was not well received and had a surprising backfire attached to its release, the company remained quiet in this field of work. Or otherwise, Google has been at work with Magic Leap – a firm that deals with AR that Google has done a fair amount of investing in – in order to start the whole AR and VR business with a whole new approach.
However, this year seems to mark the point in time in which Google takes a more serious approach to this developing industry as the company has appointed the vice president of the Product Management department, Clay Bavor, to be fully in charge of the VR department instead. His previous position is being taken over Google’s SVP Diane Greene, who will not be in charge of running Google’s various apps such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs and so on.
Chances are we should start seeing some news regarding Google’s own take onto augmented and virtual reality line of devices later this year.
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