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Clay Bavor of Google VR Talks About the Future of VR and AR

There has been some discussion lately over whether the future is virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). Our own Kevin Eva has weighed in on the topic, along with numerous analysts and critics. Google VR boss Clay Bavor has also expressed his opinions on the subject.

In a recent episode of the Recode podcastToo Embarrassed to Ask’ Bavor laid out how he feels about the possibilities inherent in VR: “Imagine you have some glasses and you put them on and you feel like you’re completely transported somewhere else: Courtside at a Warriors game, or Machu Picchu, or maybe back in a moment in your life that you’ve recorded. The reality is, we’re at the very beginning of the journey to that fully realized version of VR.”

Bavor spoke of Google Cardboard as being something designed to offer users just a taster of what was possible with VR, which is why it was made using Cardboard, in order to give as many people as possible the chance to experience what VR could offer.

As for the rivalry between VR and AR, Bavor doesn’t believe it needs to be a competition between them: “They’re different points on the same spectrum of — I call it immersive computing,” he said. “I don’t really care about the label, but it’s this idea that you have computing and digital imagery that feels like it’s there. Virtual reality, everything is computer-generated; augmented reality, you have bits and pieces of digital information overlaid on your environment.” Bavor said, as he began waxing enthusiastic about the strengths of AR, “One [use] I am very excited about is navigation. I spend my day in this building, I still can’t find all the conference rooms. Imagine that you could just look through your phone: ‘Oh, your next meeting is over there.’ Or you get out of a taxi or an Uber; you’re disoriented. It could just say ‘You’re over there,’ [and] overlay footsteps on the ground, leading the way.”

VRFocus will continue to report on new developments within the AR and VR areas.