Google creates new virtual reality division

by: Kris CarlonJanuary 13, 2016
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Clay Bavor, the Google VP previously in charge of Google Cardboard and various Google apps, has just been appointed to head up a newly created virtual reality division at Google. The shift demonstrates just how serious Google is getting about VR.

samsung gear vr oculus connect aa (12 of 15)See also: Is Virtual Reality the Next Big Thing… Again?9

While Google Cardboard was a runaway success, especially with schools and its partnership with GoPro to create 360-degree video for YouTube, it always felt like Google was playing with virtual reality, but not really committed to it. By appointing a high level exec to run its new dedicated VR department, things are about to change.

The news comes as a clear response to the gains in the VR space that rivals like Microsoft, Sony, HTC and Facebook’s Oculus have enjoyed recently, unchallenged by Google. Google has entered the game a bit late to compete with the first couple of generations of consumer virtual reality headsets, but the company clearly sees value in the space.

HTC Chairwoman, Cher Wang recently confessed that HTC sees VR as a bigger opportunity than mobile. With Facebook and Sony charging full steam ahead with virtual reality, Google was always going to get on board sooner or later.

best google cardboard apps and vr appsSee also: 7 best Google Cardboard VR apps and games27

What Google has planned for its new virtual reality division we’ll just have to wait and see, but it might be several years before Google has something ready for prime time in the VR arena. By that time, Facebook, Microsoft, HTC and Sony will all have had their VR experiences in the marketplace for some time.

WHat do you think Google will do with VR? Just how important do you think VR will be?

  • Scooterch

    VR will be popular in entertainment and education (e.g. exploring systems and processes), but I think text will remain a primary means of sharing. Fewer people have access to creating VR content (auto-stitched photo spheres will probably be more popular e.g. in snapchat etc). Plain old websites and books will remain easier to navigate.

  • Rafael

    I feel that you are wrong in your assumption. Yes, htc and Facebook and et al are on the process of getting something more premium outside, but just the simplicity and amazing less cost that Google posted with cardboard makes Google the headstart. If the first company with vr would have been someone else then yes you would have been right… But, you never know what Google has in store for us. Also, another tidbit is project tango and that has been brewing from a long time ago and that plays pretty good with VR. I am going to bring to you something, who was the tie-in vr platform for the star wars vr videos? All those other companies? Or that little train that could named cardboard? Uh? I feel that you underestimate Google. Google has been “playing” with this and knows a thing or two. Does Facebook has a dedicated ahooter to take pictures in vr? Only Google has. I feel that you need to dig deeper in research before saying that Google is late in the game. There’s much more in VR than just the apparatus. You need the infrastructure to run the system and that my friend is where the real beauty is and Google has a headstart from thethe crowd, even apple.

  • love my SamsungVR and i’m happy about this news. Hopefully we get some Youtube app love!

  • Kamalnath

    now we can assume that VR (& AR) will be as big successful as smartphones considering the big names investing in the industry.