After launching Android TV and Android Auto last year at Google I/O, it looks like this year’s agenda for Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will focus on Android in virtual reality. According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, Google has tasked “tens of engineers” to work on a version of Android tailored for virtual reality.
With Facebook (which owns Oculus), Sony, Microsoft, Samsung and now Valve showing interest in the medium, it is clear that VR is a major area of focus for major tech companies. At this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, VR products and services took center stage, with the medium referred to as the future of gaming.
The Wall Street Journal suggests that Google will be giving away Android for VR for free, much like other flavors of the operating system. At last year’s I/O, Google demoed the $20 Google Cardboard, which is essentially a low-cost DIY solution that allows you to turn your smartphone into a 3D viewer. The cardboard unit has a tie-in software component that goes by the same name. Clay Bavor was partly responsible for Cardboard, and he will be joined by Jeremy Doig in leading Google’s VR efforts.
Details are light as to what exactly is on offer with the operating system, but with this year’s I/O scheduled at the end of May, it is likely we’ll hear more about Google’s plans for virtual reality then.