Virtual Reality is the next battle field for technology firms in 2016. In a move to stay relevant in the industry, Google’s parent company –Alphabet – through its CEO Sundar Pichai, has appointed a new chief to run it’s newly created VR wing.
A Google spokesperson announced the appointment of Mr. Clay Bavor – he was until then a deputy CEO in charge of running apps – as the new chief of the company’s VR division. However, he declined to explain further.
Mr. Bavor was once the Vice President at Google in charge of Product Management. He is a high profile technologist who was behind the running of Gmail and Google Docs among other key Google apps before being moved to head the newly created division. He also created Google Cardboard – a device that pairs with most smartphones to turn into a VR headset – priced at $20. The development of the Cardboard and the experience he has in the field deems him suitable for the task ahead. However, VR technology is more demanding; so it’s a real good challenge for Bavor. The new boss also confirmed his appointment on his Twitter profile.
Appointment to counter Facebook’s force in VR
VR field is gaining momentum in the New Year and tech firms are running fast to grab the niche. The technology’s market sectors include design, gaming and entertainment, among others. Actually every tech market sector needs it. Facebook made an early move when it purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion in 2014 and has since worked with the company, becoming one of the leaders in VR right now. The partnership between Oculus and Facebook developed a VR headset, Oculus Rift. The headset is priced at $599 and was opened for pre-orders a few days ago.
Apart from the social media livewire’s Rift, Sony and HTC headsets are also expected in the first quarter of 2016. Another player interested in the space is Microsoft. The San Francisco-based company plans to work on augmented reality. This technology approximates virtual reality, but it is less immersive. It merges virtual and real world to bring out objects resembling holograms mixed with real world objects.
Google had made an entry in augmented reality, investing $542 million in a Florida-based startup, Magic Leap. The young company explores and develops technologies in augmented world. The Alphabet-owned company successfully launched a beta version of Google Glass in 2014.
Alphabet has its eyes set in virtual reality, creating a VR division and appointing of Bavor is just a start of a race with several competitors. It will be quite interesting to see how giant firms take on one another in this rapidly growing field.
Google – the chief search engine and Facebook – leading social media platform co-exist. In fact, Google’s Play Store hosts Facebook’s Android apps – but the rivalry between these two giants cannot be overlooked. Rumors are spreading about a possible fall out soon. Facebook is already readying their contingency plans to rescue its Android apps incase Google pulls them from the Play Store. In a more recent report, the California-based company is believed to be developing its own app store.
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