Google is reportedly tapping into their deep bench of talent to staff their new virtual reality division. A report from Re/Code details their new design team composed of employees from around the company, as the tech industry increasingly focuses around VR.
Last year, Jon Wiley, long time head of design on Search, took the role of Director of Immersive Design. In a talk he gave at Google’s SPAN design conference in November, Wiley discussed the future challenges that virtual and augmented reality will pose for designers. The talk is quite interesting, with one challenge being how to direct a user’s attention in a 360 degree setting.
Wiley’s team will include YouTube plus Advanced Technology and Projects employees. The report specifically cites that ATAP employees who previously worked on Project Tango will be joining the team. Joshua To, who was a design lead on Google’s other apps, now has the same lead position for VR.
All will be reporting to division head Clay Bavor, who earlier this week shared some stats about Cardboard, including how many viewers have been shipped and how many VR apps developers have made. YouTube, which has streamed 350,000 hours of virtual reality video, recently hired an evangelist for the new platform. Last week, Vine head Jason Toff also left Twitter to work on VR for Google.
The recent hires come as it appears Google is thinking beyond just Cardboard for VR. Recent job listings reveal that the company is working on making a Gear VR-like headset of their own.
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