Google’s virtual reality headset known as Google Cardboard made its first appearance last year during I/O, and it seems poised to make another appearance at this year’s event, perhaps showing off some of the progress made towards Google’s new initiative for the VR tech called Works with Google Cardboard to get the platform to be more recognizable. There are a number of virtual reality focused sessions happening during the event this year so it’s obvious Google has set out some time to focus on the world of virtual reality and how far they’ve come with Carboard now.
While there is no way to know exactly what Google has planned for the VR focus at the event, there are a handful of different sessions covering a few different topics from designing for virtual reality to exploring virtual reality and how it’s possibly going to change lives. It’s also likely they’ll cover VR to some extent during the keynote speech but in what capacity is also unknown. As for the sessions themselves, the ‘Make Believe’ Session will explore the possibilities of virtual reality and include some talking points from VR games developer Katie Goode. The focus here will be on gaming with VR as well as where the technology will be heading.
The session on designing for virtual reality is labeled pretty straightforward and will take a focus on explaining how to develop great user experiences for the VR space, as well as what the Google VR team themselves have learned from creating and launching virtual reality apps for users. If you’re interested in developing VR related content, this is a sessions you’ll want to attend or catch on the live stream. The development team is referred to as the Google VR team in the session description so it’s likely Google could be looking at a change in the branding for Google Cardboard to a broader ‘Google VR’ which encompasses the technology behind their headset and not the headset itself. There are also possibilities Google could talk about the compatibility between YouTube and Cardboard. With the support for 360-degree videos now live, Cardboard compatibility just seems like a natural next step. Google’s Works with Google Cardboard initiative could very well be touched on this week as well alongside the other topics being discussed in various sessions.