As part of Google’s growing virtual reality developments, the company is seeking an Optical Design Engineer for Cardboard and Virtual Reality. The job listing says that the employee will “Drive the design of novel optical designs…”.
The full-time job listing, posted today, specifically seeks an employee for the company’s ‘Cardboard and Virtual Reality’ projects.
You are a hands-on optical engineer able to work on lens designs to implement near-to-eye display viewing optics. Activities include rapid development of prototypes, samples, iteration on the design with testing and user feedback, and exploring novel lens designs.
- Drive the design of novel optical designs and oversea prototype development and production hand-off.
- Modify tools of advising the development of new optical design software.
- Oversee the development of lens testing, production and factory qualification.
- Drive new technology development with both internal engineering and external vendors to push on new processes and designs, enabling new optical configurations.
This new listing suggests that Google is working on custom lenses for Google Cardboard, which would be a big step up from the cheap, commodity lenses that are supplied with the first iteration of Cardboard. Whether or not such lenses would be exclusive to a headset offered by the company, or provided to third-party partners creating Cardboard headsets, is unclear, but given Google’s commitment to involving third-party manufacturers in the Cardboard project, the latter seems most likely.
Google recently introduced the ‘Works with Google Cardboard Program’ which allows Cardboard apps to automatically adapt to the lenses of certified third-party Cardboard headsets.