virtual-reality-helmetFacebook has been doing Virtual Reality for a little while now, ever since they bought up the Occulus Rift.  Now Google has decided to get join the fray, according to a report seen in the Wall Street Journal.

When Facebook bought Occulus Rift, they said that Occulus and VR was going to be the new communication and computing platform.  Google obviously thought they might be right:

Google has “tens of engineers” and other staff working on the project. Google plans to freely distribute the new operating system, they said, mimicking a strategy that has made Android by far the most popular operating system for smartphones, powering more than one billion phones.”

There are now a range of VR headsets in development or about to launch.These headsets include goggles from Sony and Samsung.

There is already a market for VR, as people are using the new form of hardware for gaming.  But how much more broadly will VR penetrate into the entertainment or internet mainstream?

Facebook has already formed its own in-house studio to produce VR films for their Occulus platform, and they’ve already been courting Hollywood filmmakers to create types of cinematic experiences for the Occulus.  There are a number of implications to VR that could be taken advantage of, such as watching sports, travel, education and other types of things through VR.

At Google’s I/O developer conference this past year in San Francisco the company showed off Cardboard, which was a fun answer to Facebook’s Occulus headset.  But now, the search engine is pushing full steam ahead into the realm of VR.  They’ve heavily invested in the augmented reality, Magic Leap.  Magic Leap is developing a separate experience that injects images into the wearer’s actual field of vision.  Could this be a replacement for Google Glass?  Or how about it being integrated into Google Glass, assuming they decide to relaunch it in the future.

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