InnovationWearable Tech

Google Creates Virtual Reality Business

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

Google + Linkedin Subscribe to our newsletter Write a comment

Former Google apps and Cardboard head Clay Bavor to run new specialised VR division

Google has created a standalone business to oversee its Virtual Reality (VR) operations.

Details are slim about the division’s work so far, but the move could see a possible return for Google Glass, which helped relaunch VR into mainstream consciousness a few years ago.

The division will be headed up by Clay Bavor, previously head of Google’s product management team, and has already changed his Twitter profile to note he is ‘vice president of Virtual Reality at Google’.

A Google spokesperson confirmed Bavor’s move to Re/code, but declined to comment further.

Expanding

google cardboardBavor was also the head of Google Cardboard, the company’s attempt to popularise virtual reality to the masses using a low-cost headset that could work with a wide range of smartphones (pictured left)

The unit has secured a number of big-name partners for projects since its launch in 2014, including a fashion tie-up with UK brand River Island. Google has also launched several specialised apps for Cardboard, including a Cardboard Camera app for making 3D panoramas with your Android phone, as well as making every YouTube video compatible with the product.

Estimates released this week by Deloitte predict that 2016 will be the first ‘billion dollar year’ for virtual reality, with $700 million spent on hardware such as Oculus Rift, and $300 million splashed out on software.

In addition to this, 250 million headsets and 10 million copies of games are predicted to be sold this year, with HTC, Samsung and Sony are among the other manufacturers readying commercial VR headsets.

Facebook has also staked its claim in the market, having acquired Oculus for £1.1bn back in March 2014, with the first consumer-facing VR product from the company set to make an appearance within the next few months.

Suits you? Try our Wearable Tech quiz!