With less than a month until Google I/O 2016, the tech giant has released information on what’s scheduled for the event, with a large section being dedicated to talks on Virtual Reality.

Every major technology event of the year has been focused around VR in one way or another with the F8 discussing it’s 10 year plan for Oculus and manufacturers at the NAB showing of their new VR ready software and hardware. Its seems like Google I/O is no different with a strong theme of VR throughout the event programming, currently displaying at least 7 talks on virtual and augmented reality.

I/o talk 2016

One of the titles of the talks shows just how invested Google is likely to be in the new technology. “Google’s Vision for VR” is described as “what we have built, what we have learned, and where we are headed”. These one line descriptions are very rare for a google talk, which suggests that they’re not trying to give away the game with any spoilers. This talk is going to be driven by Clay Bavor, who is the head of the new Virtual Reality department at google.

Whilst we’ve been yet to hear anything in terms of a high end VR headset from Google (at least since Google Glass), that is not to say that they haven’t been building their own presence with in the VR market. Google owns Youtube which optimised for 360 videos last year and more recently introduced a 360 live streaming platform. Google are also behind Tilt Brush which is one of the best apps that’s been designed for the HTC Vive, enabling users to create art in full 3D. Google has been deeply invested into it’s new Virtual Reality department, bringing across talent internally and externally to help it thrive. As the rumour mill continues to turn we’ve heard the murmurs of them building their own VR headset, and a Gear VR competitor, alongside a VR interface for android devices. Google, apparently, also want to strengthen smartphones abilities to handle VR, AR and android by developing their own SoC chips.

Other talks scheduled for the I/O also include: “VR and Cinema” and “Live coding: Make a virtual reality Game“. It’s clear to see that Google believe that virtual reality could have a real impact on all forms of visual media.

We’re excited to see what information will surface around project Tango, which is Google’s “3D-sensing augmented reality capable smart phone”. The device is supposed to be set for release in the summer of 2016 and will be built by Lenovo. Theres a talk dedicated to this entitled “What’s new with project tango?” which will “explore the vision of Project Tango and how it will come to life with the launch of our first consumer phone.”. This device is supposed to be able to scan your surrounding environment, which means developers can attach virtual objects to your physical world and create augmented reality applications for your smart phone. Project tango is a strong theme throughout I/O, with more talks centred around the device including:

Introducing Project Tango Area Learning

6 Degree of Freedom Gaming in Android with Project Tango,”

 “Project Tango Developer Panel

google io 2016

Make sure you keep you eyes peeled for the keynote speech on May the 18th where the next years goals will be outlined. We’ll be sure to keep you updated in the build up as information emerges @VRandstuff