Search engine leader Google is seeking to dominate the Virtual Reality arena much in the same manner it took over the smartphone competition with its Android OS. In accordance with on the inside reviews, Google has a group of engineers focusing on developing an Android experience that’s relevant to virtual reality gadgets. Google is probably planning to end up being the platform and os preferred by future virtual reality gadget.
This doesn’t appear to be a compact initiative/pet challenge either. Based on the expert resource, there are “tens of engineers” working hard in delivering this operating-system to fruition. Along with virtual reality evolving rapidly and organizations making an investment seriously in components improvement, Google is getting its own technique on obtaining a piece of the pie by giving a powerful operating system to power up the hardware. Now you ask, which virtual reality headsets may gain advantage from an Android operating-system and will it be in a position to acquire ownership by a huge part of virtual reality hardware manufacturers in the foreseeable future?
Do we need a VR operating system?
It is challenging to answer this question as there is not a consumer model of virtual reality available to the public. The Oculus Rift has developer kits available, however it is not intended to be a consumer product just yet. Samsung has also released its Samsung Gear headset that is powered by the Galaxy Note 4, however it is titled the “Innovator Edition” as it is also not intended for the mainstream consumer either.
Both of these devices lack a solid user experience and act more as a peripheral to PC/phone applications as opposed to an overall ‘experience.’ Virtual reality is likely to go far beyond the realm of gaming and could become one of the primary ways that we compute on a daily basis. (That is if we can get it to not look so awkward.) As it stands, in the current VR experience you download a compatible application, start it up, and that is when the Oculus Rift begins to function. There is not an effective in-between-applications virtual reality experience. This is where a VR version of Android would come into play, creating a seamless user experience in between apps/games/etc…
Sony’s is positioning Project Morpheus as something to be used in tandem with the Playstation eco-system. Playstation already has an operating system that powers its consoles. While some may argue that Sony is using a modified version of Android for its Xperia line of smartphones, Project Morpheus is in a completely different space; of which Sony already has an operating system in place. It’s unlikely that Sony will adopt Android for Project Morpheus.
HTC and Valve’s recently announced Vive VR headset is also an unlikely platform to leverage the Android operating system. Why? Because Valve owns Steam which is one of the most successful PC based software delivery platforms. This is likely one of the driving forces behind a partnership between HTC and Valve, to bring the steam experience to their VR headsets. Having Steam in their back pockets, it’s unlikely that the Hive will need the Android operating system.
The Microsoft Hololens barely fits into the category of Virtual Reality. This device definitely sits in its own category, but does have some virtual reality applications. The Hololens runs on the Windows 10 operating system and would not need the Android operating system. Plus, Microsoft would never use the operating system of one of its biggest competitors.
That leaves us with the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear virtual reality headsets. Both of these headsets could be prime candidates for an Android operating system that is tailor-made for virtual reality. The Samsung Gear is already powered by an Android phone, so it is extremely likely that this piece of hardware will leverage a VR version of Android.