Google Takes Big Step In Its Virtual Reality Push
Google is getting serious with virtual reality.
The search giant has created a new virtual reality division that will be led by Clay Bavor, previously Google’s vice president of product management and one of the creators of the Google Cardboard virtual reality device, according to a report by the tech new site Re/code.
Prior to his new appointment, Bavor oversaw the development and design of Google’s portfolio of apps, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive.
The change follows a decision by Google CEO Sundar Pichai to hire Diane Greene, a founder of the business technology company VMware, to lead Google’s cloud computing division. He later added the responsibility of overseeing the company’s Apps business unit that Bavor previously led.
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In recent months, Google (GOOG) has tried to popularize its virtual reality technology, which until now, has been mostly an experimental moonshot project. In October, for example, the company partnered with The New York Times to send one million readers free Google Cardboard devices so they could watch New York Times-created virtual reality documentaries.
Google isn’t the only company looking to create a virtual realty business. Facebook (FB) has also started to take pre-orders on its Oculus Rift VR device, which costs $600 and requires a souped-up personal computer to operate.
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Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT) has been developing business apps for its HoloLens device. Over the summer, it enlisted the help of universities to create VR apps for medical training, data analytics, and workplace communication, among other use cases.
Fortune reached out to Google for more details and will update this story if it responds.