Cardboard might be a silly (but admittedly fun and amusing) first foray into virtual reality, but Google has more serious ambitions in the space: to have Android be the operating system of choice for many more VR experiences.
Sure, Android is used on the phones you slot into the Cardboard viewer (pictured), and it’s the OS powering the Galaxy Note 4 that powers Samsung’s Gear VR. Same for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge that will work with the upcoming smaller version of the Gear VR.
But it sounds like Google wants to do more in the space, and be the maker of the software that’ll power future headsets – not just the phones sitting inside some of the devices. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has a team of dozens actively working on a version of Android designed to do just that.
And just like Android on phones, tablets, and other devices, Android for VR will be openly available for manufacturers to use on their devices. Surely Google will benefit by the use of services within, however, as well as from purchases from the Play Store.
No word yet on a timeline for this new version of Android, although it’s clear that the energy and interest around VR is surging. The recent Mobile World Congress and Game Developers Conference events were both dominated by virtual reality developments, namely the introduction of HTC and Valve’s awe-inspiring Vive headset.
Source: Wall Street Journal