Virtual reality technology could be right on the horizon as the next big thing, and Google doesn’t want to miss its chance. The search giant is working on a virtual reality program for Android. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, there are teams of engineers working on the project.
A look at Google’s plans for VR technology
Android VR is set to start as a free release for app developers, a common tactic the search giant uses to capture market share. The search giant previously launched an open-source headset aptly called Google Cardboard. This headset (made from cardboard) was designed to work with any Android smartphone. The user simply slides the phone into the VR box for a virtual reality experience.
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Google isn’t the only tech company with hopes of dominating the virtual reality market. Last year, social media giant Facebook purchased VR company Oculus VR. HTC also teamed up with the game company Valve to create Vive, a cool virtual reality headset with cameras and laser-based motion sensors. The VR devices mentioned above feature their own proprietary software, but Google hopes to change that.
Google’s VR tablet
Google’s Android software works with a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablet computers. The search giant hopes to apply the same to its virtual reality headsets. Google also has a team working on hardware for the VR headsets; Google is reportedly working on a tablet with two cameras that project “virtual” items onto real world images. The device would be similar to the Microsoft HoloLens project.
Clay Bavor and Jeremy Doig are reportedly taking the lead for VR development. Bavor designed the cardboard headset that was given away during the I/O conference in 2014.
Whether Google’s upcoming VR project becomes a success or not depends on whether virtual reality takes off into the mainstream. The recent influx of wearable products may prompt more interest in VR technologies in time.