2016 seems to be the year when virtual reality becomes accessible to all consumers, not just developers. The Oculus Rift headset and HTC Vive have reached the market, Samsung excited us with Gear VR, and Microsoft is getting closer to the commercial launch of the Hololens helmet.
Google has not given a lot of interest in this area until now. Besides Google Glass and Google Cardboard glasses, the Mountain View giant has not made any serious attempts on the virtual reality market.
However, the company does not want to stay behind and, according to a job advert, it plans to open a division specialized in VR. Google plans to create and launch multiple consumer devices that could compete with other products that are already or will soon hit the market.
Google is looking to hire Hardware Engineers, which clearly shows that there won’t be only a software attempt on the VR market. It will be interesting to see what direction the company will choose to follow: will it address to the mobile users (Samsung Gear VR), or will focus on those who want an immersive and sophisticated experience (as Oculus or Vive).
Google has recently invested in Magic Leap, a start-up that has a similar augmented reality hardware as Hololens, so the company’s ambitions could be very high. There are also high chances to see a prototype by the end of this year, but until then we are waiting for the reaction of the consumers when it comes to the Oculus or Vive.