After Google’s revamp last year, Alphabet Inc. has created a new division of virtual reality (VR) computing. It has now been confirmed that Clay Bavor, the executive running its product management team, will be in charge of Google’s new VR team.
Google confirmed that Clay Bavor, one of the big bosses behind Google Cardboard, will become the head of the company’s VR team. According to Google spokesman Joshua Cruz, Clay’s new role in the company is confirmed, but “we are not providing any additional comment at this time.”
The media has interpreted Bavor’s appointment as a sign that Google is ready to commit even more to developing its own VR tech. A fairly new field – but possibly lucrative one – virtual reality appears to be dominated by Facebook’s Oculus, Sony’s Playstation VR, and HTC’s Vive. All of the above are expected to hit the shelves this spring.
We should also mention Microsoft’s HoloLens, but this piece of augmented reality tech is predicted to still be at least half a decade away from entering the general consumer’s home.
Admittedly, Google’s one dive into VR is also some years away from being functional; Magic Leap, the virtual reality startup that’s been generously funded by Google back in Oct. 2014 (it received $542 million), is keen on being quiet about any progress.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bavor’s appointment is nothing but Google’s attempt “to keep up with some of its rivals in the rapidly expanding world of virtual reality.” The search giant has been “flirting with virtual reality, but never quite fully dived into it until now,” as Reuters describes it.
As far as Google Cardboard is concerned, we got to see more of its powers during the past several months. In May last year, the company announced it was partnering with GoPro – the action-camera maker – for its 360-degree view in virtual reality.
Come November, Google made another push by transforming all YouTube videos to be compatible with the Cardboard, but the experience is not that impressive.
A few days before Christmas, we got to see a virtual White House tour via Google Cardboard. At the same time, the company launched a Cardboard Camera app that allows users to make 3D panoramas with Android devices.
Even after Google gave out more than one million free Cardboard viewers, Palmer Luckey, Oculus founder, didn’t feel threatened. He said Cardboard is “muddy water,” while Oculus is a “fancy wine.” Perhaps Bavor will change that.
Image Source: Google Developers