To some, this might seem like quite an obvious headline. Especially as augmented reality and virtual reality are both ‘realities’. However, the two are very different, cater to very different markets and the implications of both, are also very different. To sum up, they are very different entities. That said, in spite of their differences, the latest information is that they both now do operate under the same umbrella over at Google. Although, if you look at it in terms of hierarchy, then the AR division now reports directly to the VR division.
At least that is the information coming out of a new report from Upload VR today. According to that information (which in turn is said to have come from Tango’s own Johnny Lee), he (Lee) reports to Clay Bavor, who heads up the Google VR division (which was created back at the start of 2016), who in turn reports to Google CEO, Sundar Pichai directly. Which would seem to suggest that AR has been brought into and is monitored under the wider VR umbrella. Tango was of course, originally a part of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. Although, as it has become more of a thing and less of a ‘project’, it has since moved on.
Which essentially now means that both the Daydream and Tango teams are both operating under Google VR and at a time when they are both about to hit the market in a very big way. It was only today that the first Tango-enabled smartphone, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, went on general sale. While from Daydream’s perspective, the first Daydream-ready headset, Daydream View, was today confirmed to be hitting general availability on November 10. Although, it is already available to pre-order from a number of places including the Google Store, Verizon and Best Buy. Which also means that both divisions are still very early in terms of their full development and potential. So it will be interesting to see how they pan out over time. While VR does seem to be the more popular of the two at the consumer level, it is largely expected by most of the industry that AR has yet to hit its stride. Unlike VR, AR has the advantage of being able to be included on virtually all smartphones in the future without the need for any additional hardware.