Google has even more planned for virtual reality than just giving Cardboard it its own leadership and division. Scott Broock, coming over from virtual reality startup Jaunt, has joined the YouTube team as the company’s Global VR Evangelist (via Re/code). It’s not exactly clear what that means yet (we’ve reached out to Google for comment; no response yet), but he’s probably in charge of getting people to make VR content for the video service…
“Thrilled to plug in with the team @YouTube as Global #VR Evangelist,” Broock said yesterday afternoon on his Twitter account. “Hitting fast forward on the future of immersive content. VR everywhere.”
“YouTube presses play on virtual reality” was the title of a post from YouTube’s blog in November last year, and indeed it has. That was when YouTube officially launched VR video on the service, as well as brought Google Cardboard support to the YouTube app. Now, with Broock on board, it seems Google wants to get more companies to create content. Google pushed the Hunger Games Experience and the TOMS Shoes Giving Trip at the launch of VR on the service, and perhaps Broock could be responsible for making sure similar kinds of content get made.
Clay Bavor, VP of product management, recently had Google’s apps dropped from his responsibilities, with those now under the supervision of former VMWare founder and SVP Diane Greene (who only recently joined the company alongside Google’s acquisition of Greene’s startup bebop) . Overall, it appears that Google is taking threats from Facebook’s Oculus, HTC and its Vive platform, and other competitors, very seriously. And it should—I’ve used HTC Vive a couple of times, and it’s breathtaking.