Google ramps up virtual reality focus with new unit

Google is allocating significant new resources to its virtual reality ambitions with the creation of a new business unit focussed solely on the cutting edge tech, headed up by the creator of Google Cardboard.

Clay Bavor, formerly Google’s vice president of product management, has developed some of the search giant’s most familiar products; including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive.

Google has helped popularise VR with the launch of its basic cardboard kit which can transform a smartphone running customised software into a primitive VR helmet. The experimental hardware has been promoted heavily, most recently through a partnership with the New York Times which saw 1m devices given away as a freebie.

Hype surrounding the technology has reached fever pitch in recent weeks after Facebook began accepting pre-orders for its Oculus Rift headset. Far more advanced than Google’s offering it comes with a price tag to match at $600 plus the need to own a high-end gaming PC to run it properly.