It looks like Google is stepping up its virtual reality (VR) game: the multinational technology company is forging ahead in 2016 with its own virtual reality division, giving other companies like Facebook and Microsoft a run for their money.
According to an exclusive with Re/code, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has appointed one of his deputies, the now-former VP for product management Clay Bavor, to take over as head of the as-of-yet unnamed department.
So far, Google's biggest (and only) VR-related success has been with its Cardboard headset, which has proven to be a cheaper but functionally-effective alternative to more standard fare. Since the headset was released in 2014, Google has not shown many significant strides in building a branch specifically geared toward VR innovation.
However, with the new division presumably launching, 2016 might be a banner year for the company, especially after its major investment in the VR startup Magic Leap in December 2015.
Bavor's cred with Google might also be a key weapon in the new division's arsenal: the VP has been in charge of Google apps like Gmail and Drive, as well as Google Cardboard itself. Bavor's reputation at Google (Re/code reports that he's known as "precocious" and "well-liked") can only aid in developing Google's brand new department.
Re/code also divulged that Diane Greene, currently Google's senior vice president of enterprise operations, will take over Bavor's former role as head of apps.
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