Several years ago this may have seemed like a pipe dream, but nowadays the concept of virtual reality is really taking off, not only in the PC market but in console gaming and the mobile niche as well. Following the release of iconic VR headsets including the HTC Vive, and after Samsung established itself as one of the main VR content providers for mobile VR, Google took an interest in the virtual reality segment too, and back in May 2016, the giant took the wraps off its virtual reality platform for Android, called Daydream. As Google continues to develop its VR platform, recent reports have revealed that the company’s virtual reality branch has hired Matt Apfel, former VP for VR Content at Samsung.
According to an unnamed spokesperson cited by Variety, Matt Apfel – who left Samsung during the first quarter of the year in March - is now part of the Google VR team; however, the spokesperson made no comments in regards to Matt Apfel’s role in the company. For Samsung’s virtual reality branch, Apfel’s previous work revolved around the acquisition of content for the company’s Milk VR services, which acts as a launch pad for sharing 360-degree VR content to Samsung Gear VR users and otherwise. However, at the moment there are no details in regards to Matt Apfel’s activities and responsibilities tied in with his new job at Google.
Google’s virtual reality project is quite interesting, in that it aims to expand the reaches of VR to great lengths. While the company was reportedly working on its own standalone VR headset, more recent reports suggest that Google has abandoned this particular project in order to maintain its focus on Daydream. Google first introduced Daydream in May 2016, and for those who may be unfamiliar with the project, it aims to implement native virtual reality capabilities within the Android operating system. This will technically allow any Android smartphone manufacturers to create handsets with VR capabilities in the future, and should make things much easier for third party VR content creators, as Daydream is supposed to rely on its own app store dedicated to VR entertainment. Manufacturers will however, have to make sure they adhere to a certain set of standards, making headsets that are classed as "Daydream ready".