A flurry of new job postings suggests Google is ramping up a team to create new consumer VR/AR hardware that goes beyond their Daydream View headset.

Google announced the Daydream View headset in late 2016 amidst a new initiative that saw the company making a strong commitment to designing, building, and selling its own hardware products. Alongside the Daydream View was the announcement of the first of the company’s first-party phones, the Pixel, as well as Google Home, a hardware base station powered by Google Assistant, and Google WiFi, a mesh networking router. All of these products are Google designed and branded, marking a major shift for the company which has formerly largely focused on software.

Through the company’s ‘Nexus’ initiative in year’s past, the company had collaborated with prominent phone makers to create co-branded phones (Google did the same thing too with its Chromebook initiative), but the Pixel comes as the first phone “by Google.” The company has also previously created first-party tablets and laptops under the Pixel brand.

The Daydream View headset launched in November. The relatively simple device is not much more than a smartphone-holder, which ultimately relies entirely on Daydream-ready phones to render VR experiences.

Google Daydream Review: Casual VR Closes the Gap

As the company’s hardware ambitions grow, it appears that Google wants to do more than Daydream View. A slew of new job listings for the company’s VR and AR team over the last 30 days shows a ramping up of hardware expertise, including an Engineering Project Specialist position who can “drive multiple hardware projects simultaneously from prototype to mass production,” and an Electrical Hardware Engineer for Consumer Hardware Platforms role who has “Experience supporting high volume overseas manufacturing builds.”

Three other job listings for Google’s VR/AR Team in the same period further suggest a significant focus on hardware, including expertise in the field of optics.

Last year, amidst the announcement of Daydream, Google went on a VR/AR hiring spree, listing 15 full time job positions in the prior 12 months. At that time, nearly all of the hires were software-focused.

Rumors of a Google all-in-one VR headset—one which is self-contained and doesn’t use a snap-in smartphone—continue to swirl. Mostly recently in late 2016, Engadget reported that Google was working on an all-in-one VR device which would include eye-tracking technology from the company’s recent acquisition of Eyefluence.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Sponge Bob

    Why would anyone with good ideas about making new VR hardware/software join Google’s “team” ??

    • user

      because they are the second most valuable company on the planet.
      because they partner with many manufacturers so that their products can scale for consumers, business, education, public sector with their increasingly global cloud platform.
      because they already have great talent: they build everything from the operating systems, to inside-out tracking, eye tracking, content platforms for video / webvr / apps, mobile devices / wearables / hearables / fabrics / contact lenses, cameras / lidar / radar, chips, robots for warehouses / delivery / surgery, … they are on the forefront of ai and quantum computing research.

      • Sponge Bob

        .. plus google glasses and zillions of failed moonshot projects too..

        the relative effectiveness of google as an inventive engine is abysmal – for all the $$$$ spent

        • user

          lol… thats how r&d works. especially if you dont go for low hanging fruit.

          • Sponge Bob

            that’s how big and rich public corps can waste money without being accountable

            try to do it as a small private company. LOL

          • user

            they are accountable and the investors pushed the stock to an all time high yesterday.
            on the other hand companies like walmart didnt invest and expand and are losing against the competiton which does.

          • OgreTactics

            That’s not how r&d work. R&D is not a “scientific lab”, which even then has to yield results. When you’re a billion dollars company with hundreds of thousands of employees, you’re not supposed to be such a failure at R&D, technology asset management/ fructification, and product/platform/device conception.

            They’re not worst than the others since Steve Jobs is not around anymore, even though they have Matias Duarte, but the last company that ever innovated radically in consumer tech these past year is Xiaomi…a chinese company…in a country where they’re siphoning the culture, craft, and tech from other countries and are not known for having the innovative (and underlaying philosophical) mindset.

            This says a lot about the deliquescence of western corporations and their failure at competing with new nations on the grounds that they’re supposed to master the virtues of: ideas, design and innovation…

          • user

            “When you’re a billion dollars company with hundreds of thousands of employees”

            i think that says enough about your expertise.

          • OgreTactics

            You mean, that Google doesn’t literally have hundreds of thousands of employees? STFU.

          • Sponge Bob

            “…a chinese company…in a country where they’re siphoning the culture, craft, and tech from other countries and are not known for having the innovative (and underlaying philosophical) mindset”

            Unfortunately, very unfortunately (or US) this statement is not true anymore

            IN particular, in VR tech space there is a lot of inventive development going on in mainland “communist” China…

            Some of that was recently highlighted on this blog:



            Soon enough we are going to buy VR high-tech products INVENTED and MADE in China !!!!

          • OgreTactics

            That’s my point, China doesn’t make crap product anymore, they are better (in terms of quality and craft) than us. However in terms of innovation, design and culture, yes they’re not anywhere near yet. But the reverse problem is we’re getting down too, that’s why the Xiaomi Mix is a shocking oddity.

    • benz145

      They aren’t hiring for ideas, they’re hiring someone with the skills to execute ideas they’ve already had.

  • Get Schwifty!

    Its at the stage they can’t ignore the potential in AR/VR… and kiddie devices like the Daydream aren’t going to cut it. The only thing is that Google is a company with essentially zero-interest in gaming, their pretty much a mobile-only affair, so I am not holding my breath for anything to really compete with Vive/Rift at this stage and for quite some time if ever. Even if they make a all-in-one headset, I would think its aimed at mass media consumption more than anything else, and AR for applications beyond gaming for phone-level apps. Still, nice to see they are working on something.

    • user

      zero interest in gaming? they spun out niantic only for the nintendo deal and pokemon go generated about $1b in revenue so far.
      they also profit from every play store sale. they are investors in magic leap and altspace vr. bought tilt brush.
      they profit from game live streaming on yt. they even have a yt gaming app.
      and they partnered with improbable to get spatialOS on their cloud platform because gaming is an important factor in cloud growth.

      btw… in case somebody missed it: gamasutra on superdata’s numbers from jan-nov16
      “Digging into the data, this year the VR market generated revenues of $2.7 billion. Focusing specifically on headset shipments, Google Cardboard led the way with 88.4 million units shipped.

      Making up the top five were the Samsung Gear VR (2.3M units), PlayStation VR (745K units), HTC Vive (420K units), and the Oculus Rift (355K units).”

      • Get Schwifty!

        I should have clarified – I am referring to PC gaming development, not mobile ;)

        Google is about providing access to gaming as a revenue maker, but in terms of a true “interest” in games for game’s sake, I just don’t see it. I wouldn’t exactly call Pokemon Go a game though, its more of a collector toy at this stage which kind of is my overall point, they don’t look at gaming itself as something worthy to pursue outside of a revenue stream. Compared to a focused company like Valve, in which gaming is the thing, and mainly PC.

        Likewise Apple is not really interested in gaming except to facilitate it in their mobile devices for sales… but they would be just as happy selling audio books or whatever if they could if that was the market.

        Good to see the sales for Oculus weren’t actually 2:1 in favor of Vive as was claimed a few weeks back though if Superdata’s numbers are reliable ;)

    • OgreTactics

      GearVR + Galaxy S7/Note: 5 millions
      Oculus + Vive = 300k

      what exactly in these number doesn’t fly in your head so that you don’t get that AVR is going to be mobile, because a Virtual Headset should have nothing to do with the actual machine it’s being used with. By that I mean, PC/Mobile VR doesn’t matter, since a VHeadset is only supposed to be a visual and interactional interface that replaces screens and mouse/touchscreens, therefor should be hardware agnostic.

    • Sponge Bob

      I would say that 90 % of all VR/AR is going to be mobile – not necessarily running on mobile phones (wrong form factor for power and heat dissipation) ) but on some ergonomic lightweight HMD (or even glasses) not tethered (via wires or even wi-fi) to stationary PC
      Gaming apps will be only a small fraction of that

  • Firasat Khan


    I have great ideas about creating VR applications. However, I have no experience in developing or designing applications. I tried to reach out to google regarding my ideas but didn’t get any response from them. I have a vision of what could get a great product. I am looking for someone to partner up with and see where I can go with my ideas. Please reach out to me if you have an interest.

    Firasat Khan

    • OgreTactics

      Go to your local Google office with a CV and ask for 5 minutes of one of the HRs. Depending on your local culture they may or may not, give you these time, or you’ll have to be introduced.

      • Sponge Bob

        I have a betetr idea:

        spend 5 years on developing and patenting you stuff
        then watch google take for free
        then be proud

        • OgreTactics

          That’s not how patents work. They can’t take it for free, or it’s immediate case win for you. They’ll licence it like the (literally, that’s no exaggeration) hundreds of thousands of patent they already licence. Or in order to avoid licensing cost, or licensing by competition, they’ll buy it.

  • OgreTactics

    They seem to know the persons they want hire. I hope the person uphill knows what for.

    “Optical Lab Technician
    Thermal Technician”

    I’d say they do, but Google have been nothing but unperceptive and untalented in their last hardware/software conceptions so…

    • Sponge Bob

      “Thermal Technician” guess they need this guy to prevent their pixel phone inside of daydream from exploding on customers head :)

      cheap advice – make daydream out of copper, not some shitty plastic and fabric
      – it will improve thermal conductivity and reduce fire hazard :)
      can I apply for position ?