January 14, 2016

Google dives into virtual reality with new division

Alphabet Inc.'s Google is focusing on virtual reality and moving the head of its product management team to run the new effort.

Clay Bavor, the vice president of product at Google since 2005, has taken on the title of vice president of virtual reality, according to Bavor's Twitter profile.

Bavor is no stranger to taking on big jobs at Google. As a top player in product management, he helped lead some of the company's most well-known apps, including Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive.

For Google, these moves are aimed at making sure the company doesn't fall behind -- or further behind -- competitors, like Facebook, in the virtual reality arena. Facebook, for instance, has already begun taking pre-orders for its virtual reality console Oculus Rift, with the device expected to begin rolling out in the first quarter of this year.

"Virtual reality is eventually going to be one of the big data interfaces and given Google is about data access, not having a focus on this could be a going-out-of-business strategy," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "The market hasn't emerged yet, so there is time and Google has a great deal of reach. This may be the first step -- develop an expertise, then buy [related companies] to catch up."






SOURCE - Computerworld

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