There have been a few moves made to suggest that Google might be designing their own VR headset to further expand their reach into the virtual reality market. It will likely be the theme of 2016. Virtual reality is getting closer, and many experts have high hopes for the new industry.
Major companies seem ready to make more investments in VR, with Facebook, HTC, Samsung, and Sony putting in efforts to bring products on the market. Google has not been far behind. In fact, it’s expected that their Google Cardboard will remain in the top of VR products this year. That’s because of its convenience, easy use, and incredibly low price in comparison to the upcoming hardware.
Google Cardboard is more of a support than a true headset for VR. It’s a do-it-yourself kit that you put together, supports your smartphone, and it becomes the tool through which virtual reality can be enjoyed. The apps themselves are downloaded in your phone, so Cardboard is more like a vessel. However, Google seems to have a vested interest in the market, so it’s possible that they’re planning a better performing hardware.
New hires and job openings at Google
Recently, the company created its own division that will be strictly focused on VR. In fact, former Vine CEO Jason Toff left the company for the purpose of working with Google’s new virtual reality department. It remains to be see what this will entail, but Toff expressed his plans to “work on VR”. It’s also recently that Google hired Scott Broock as YouTube’s “VR Evangelist”.
The rumors have been propelled forward by online posts of job openings at the company. One of the offered positions is for a PCB Layout Engineer which implies the “development and sustaining of actual products”. It also mentions the possibility of building multiple consumer electronic devices and putting together a team that will be on scale with the company’s offering. The bigger the product, the larger the team.
The second opening is for a Hardware Engineering Technical Lead Manager, which will have a bigger focus on design and execution. The employee will be responsible for the consumer hardware products.
While the openings themselves might only suggest the possibility of creating a new device, reports have it that “consumer product” actually replaced a mention of “virtual reality”. Whether that was a mistake on Google’s demands or the desire on the company’s side of not giving away too much information it remains to be seen.
However, the possibility itself is exciting, and given Google’s interest in virtual reality, it is possible that they are working on a headset to rival the upcoming Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.
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