Tag: google virtual reality

Google names new head of virtual reality

The tech giant has thrown its hat in the VR technology ring along with Microsoft and Facebook.

Microsoft and Facebook have been powering forward with virtual reality technology, but at the same time it has appeared as though Google has been falling behind in this particular category.

That said, 2016 is starting to suggest that this isn’t the case as Google has been making moves to catch up.

It has now been revealed that Google is making moves to form its own division that is dedicated to virtual reality tech and computing. As a central component of this effort, it has now named Sundar Pichai – the company’s CEO – as a division head, according to several sources. This represents a massive shift in control positions at the company as it simultaneously indicates that the company has a new intention to create a solid enterprise business. After all, with this shift in execs, it will be senior vice president Diane Green who will take control over the company’s tremendous consumer web applications.

While the changes have been confirmed by a Google spokesperson, further discussion of virtual reality was declined.

Virtual Reality TechnologyThe Google vice president of product management, Clay Bavor, has been in control of the company’s apps; such as Drive, Gmail and Docs. Since the launch of Cardboard in 2014, he has also been the head of that division. Moving forward, Bavor is stepping away from apps in order to place all his attention on VR products. As he steps out of apps, Greene is stepping in, who joined the company in November in order to take control of the newly formed enterprise operations.

The original creation of Cardboard had been to create a form of VR technology that could be introduced in a mainstream way. So far, it has seen some limited success as it has recently started some distribution programs with schools. It also brought about a new GoPro integration that made it possible to carry VR video over to YouTube. That feature was initially introduced in May 2015 at the Google I/O, by Bavor.

This most recent large move in virtual reality might help to assuage the concerns and criticisms of people in the industry who have been indicating that Google isn’t all that dedicated to the tech.

Virtual reality kits from Google headed to more city schools

The VR tech for students will be expanding by 15 additional cities through the Expeditions Pioneer Program.

Google has recently announced that it will be broadening the reach of its Expeditions Pioneer program, which means that it will be sending its virtual reality kits to schools in a larger number of cities around the world.

The idea is to provide students with a new and fascinating VR based learning experience in the classroom.

Google explained that the program is meant specifically for providing virtual reality within the class environment. In order to create its over 100 different VR journeys, the company’s developers worked alongside teachers and other content partners from across the globe, “making it easy to immerse students in entirely new experiences.” Alongside this announcement, Google has also stated that it will be providing the technology to 15 new cities, some of which are in international marketplaces.

That said, Google did not immediately identify exactly how many schools would be receiving the virtual reality kits.

Virtual Reality - Image of ClassroomAcross the United States, the cities that are expected to receive the VR technology kits include New Orleans, Las Vegas, Detroit, Baltimore, Orlando, Cincinnati, Alexandria, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Washington D.C., Salt Lake City and Portland. The countries into which this technology news will be taking steps includes Canada (Toronto), Singapore and Denmark. An unknown number of schools within those cities will be receiving the technology kits through the program.

The Google Expedition kit will be expanding through a partnership with Subaru and will include a tablet for the teachers of participating classes, ASUS smartphones as well as a router and the viewers that will convert the phones into VR devices similar to Google Cardboard.

The Expeditions program has not actually been around for very long since its initial launch, so it is quite interesting and potentially promising to see the speed at which Google has been broadening its reach. Many are interpreting the decision to add 15 new cities to the virtual reality program as an indicator that things have been going well in the cities that were involved in the first waves following the initial launch.