It is no secret that virtual reality (VR) is the next big thing. In fact, it seems to be one of the most currently discussed topics in the tech world. Not to mention, a large number of manufacturers and content providers are already looking to bring their options to the market, with the most recent of which, the HTC Vive, said to be now shipping out to buyers.
With VR being a market that is considered to be an ‘important’ one, it is probably not that surprising that Google is already heavily investing in the platform. They were one of the first to bring about a more affordable version of virtual reality with the introduction of their Cardboard headset and many rumors are pointing to an increased level of attention from Google at this year’s I/O event in May. However, what might be surprising is that it seems Google does not view VR as the most important industry of now, but instead as a stepping stone to their real ambition, augmented reality (AR).
At least that is what is coming from a new report this week from The Information. According to the report, sources have revealed that both Sundar Pichai and Clay Bavor have “privately” made it clear that augmented reality is where the future is for Google. Specifically referring to the platform as “mixed” reality, with the idea being that a reality which fuses digital information and images with the real world is where the market will be in the future. While this might sound somewhat like Google Glass, it is worth keeping in mind, that this ‘information and images’ is likely where Google can profitably position themselves within the ‘reality’ market. In fact, we have already started to see instances of what Google’s view of augmented reality could be like. Of course, this is all someway off becoming a real-world industry, although the report does make it clear that the AR-focus is at the back of Google’s mind in terms of the direction in which the company is looking to proceed in the long terms. However, while technology catches up and the specifics of how to bring about a ‘mixed reality’ are finalized, it does seem clear that Google will continue to focus on virtual reality, much like the rest of the industry.