Google exec reshuffling hints at big VR plans in its future
We’re living in an absolutely fantastic time for anyone who’s been following the development of VR tech over the past few decades, as worthwhile consumer solutions finally become available. Beyond all the great high-end stuff we’re seeing with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, it’s easier than ever to pick up a cheap Google Cardboard viewer and use your existing smartphone to get in on the action – and with so many free viewer giveaways, odds are good that if you’ve been interested, you’ve had a chance to check Cardboard out in action by now. But is that where Google’s going to draw the line – at Cardboard – and leave the fancier rigs for the other boys? Don’t bet on it, as some shifting executive duties point to a growing focus on the VR market.
Google VP Clay Bavor has previously headed up Cardboard efforts, as well as managing apps and services like Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive. But now Bavor’s stepping away from the rest of that stuff and working exclusively on Google’s VR efforts.
Right now, neither Google nor Bavor are saying anything specific about the company’s VR future, but it’s not hard to imagine that we could see it include some new hardware. At least, Cardboard remains fine as an entry-level option, but with the future of Glass looking industry-focused, is there space in Google’s product portfolio for a new consumer-oriented headset?
Knowing Google, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some level of augmented reality support baked in, but we could just as easily get an Oculus-style pure-VR helmet. And now with Google I/O on our calendars, could it be just a few short months before we get some formal confirmation of the company’s new VR plans?