Google seems to be taking somewhat of a step back from VR, as Variety reports the company will be shutting down its Jump program for good next month.

Google posted an updated Jump FAQ recently regarding the shutdown of the VR video service, outlining that Jump will officially go offline on June 28th, 2019.

The ability to upload video will be suspended on June 26th; the 27th is the cutoff date to back up whatever files you may have uploaded via the service. Any later than that, and all Jump-related files will be deleted from Google’s Cloud Services for good.

In an all too brief statement, Google says the shutdown is due to “the emergence of a number of alternative solutions for creators,” which they maintain saw usage of Jump Assembler decline.

Photo by Road to VR

In Jump’s wake, the company suggests that VR filmmakers make use of third-party stitching software such as Mistika VR and the Nuke Cara VR plugin. Both are said to work with either of the platform’s officially supported rigs, the GoPro Odyssey and YI HALO, the latter of which cost a cool $17,000.

Google first introduced Jump back in 2015 as camera platform that essentially followed Cardboard’s path of providing an open design for all to use. Besides establishing build guidelines for makers and manufacturers alike, Google also provided Cloud Service storage and Jump ‘Assembler’, which was tasked with stitching the camera’s multiple video feeds into a contiguous 360 scene.

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Where Google is headed next with VR, we’re not sure. It seems over the past few months that the company has taken a noticeable step back from VR. Google’s first big pullback came via a shutdown of its internal VR film studio Spotlight Stories in March. At this year’s I/O developer conference early this month, Google’s VR platform Daydream wasn’t even mentioned; the company’s upcoming smartphone Pixel 3a won’t support Daydream either.

Some of this may rest on the shoulders of a less than stellar launch last year of the only standalone VR headset to use the Daydream platform, Lenovo Mirage Solo. It was by all accounts a pioneering initiative to bring 6DOF headtracking to the masses, although its launch was marred by a lack of ready-made 6DOF content, a lack of 6DOF controllers, and a $400 price tag that wasn’t positioned well against the $200 Oculus Go at the time. It also seemed stifled from the beginning, as HTC, a previous hardware partner pledging Vive Focus to the platform, decided to pull support and launch their headset in China under the Viveport mobile store.

Whatever the case may be, we’ll have all eyes on Google’s VR division in the coming months to see if this is a full-blown pull back, or a strategic retreat.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Darshan

    Google has this in habit now…

    Project ARA
    Google Glass
    Chrome book Pixel
    Chrome cast Audio
    Google Tv
    Nexus Q
    Google Mini
    So on…

    If you wish you can certainly add and See DAYDREAM VR is down the line
    seeing negligence given at past two pixel events

    Google is too quick at start and even quicker to give up.
    So no surprise here its just so Google.

    • Immersive_Computing

      Nothing surprising, these are small side gigs for Google, their advertising biz is ‘lucrative’ to say the least.

      They are interesting to work with, but its hard to grasp the sheer scale of their operation, I have glimpses when I have visited.

      • Cameron Brown

        Heh. I was there three weeks ago for an interview.

        • Immersive_Computing

          Hope it went well and you get the opportunity you were interviewed for.

    • sfmike

      It’s just typical corporate thinking pick up on some new tech, throw a lot of money at it and if it doesn’t make a billion in profit in two years pretend it never existed. Also make sure you do a half-assed job of marketing it and supporting it then fire all the people who worked on the project because it was all their fault. Capitalism at it’s worst.

      • Immersive_Computing

        VR / AR team members based at TCR in London were not fired when the team was disbanded, but moved to other projects, one team member I know went to work on their X projects in California. Its expensive and time consuming to recruit talent, and due to the scale of the company, there are many projects for that talent to move into.

    • Jistuce

      Even things they stick with for a long time can get the axe. Really, their track record is such that I’m continually surprised they haven’t shuttered the search engine and e-mail service.

  • Ian Shook

    Hopefully their acquisition of Lytro will come to something.

    • sfmike

      It better show a huge profit quickly or it will die the same death as the rest. There is a pattern here. So kiss Lytro goodbye.

    • FireAndTheVoid

      Not happening. As previously reported: Lytro’s supposed acquisition by Google was intended primarily for the purposes of hiring a “large fraction” of the light-field company’s employees. A person familiar with the matter confirmed this to The Verge, saying that former team members bound for Google will be “spread across multiple divisions, and will not be continuing Lytro’s previous camera work.”

  • sfmike

    This writer hit it right on the head with “its launch was marred by a lack of ready-made 6DOF content, a lack of 6DOF controllers, and a $400 price tag that wasn’t positioned well against the $200 Oculus Go at the time.” We see this over and over in the tech industry. A desperate search for the next big thing that will bring in a quick billion dollars in profit but a half hearted effort in promotion.

  • FireAndTheVoid

    This is bull. I *literally* just bought a used Odyssey rig. The rig came with a Jump account which includes unlimited use of Google’s render farm. Now that account is worthless. Google is recommending CaraVR? It’s a nice tool suite but it’s EXPENSIVE – $4500 for a permanent account or $1500 per quarter. MistikaVR is far more reasonably priced but it’s meant to run locally, not on a render farm. How long will a render take to complete? I’m extremely irritated. I won’t be quick to place my trust in Google again.

  • Yes, from the latest Google I/O it seems that Google is now all focused on AR and AI

  • oompah

    I was expecting google glass to
    evolve into lightweight vr headset