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Facebook dev ‘underwhelmed’ by Google’s VR efforts

One Facebook dev has said he was severly “underwhelmed” by Google’s VR efforts and the lack of a headset at Google I/O 2015.

Speaking to TrustedReviews at the Google Campus after this year’s developer conference, Facebook software engineer Balazs Balazs claimed the social network giant has nothing to worry about in terms of VR competition.

“I was very excited about and hold much love for VR. At Facebook we have Oculus and I know their plans and what they will do,” Balazs said speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews.

“I was worried that Google might be ahead of us, might do something amazing. But I was underwhelmed with the VR stuff.”

He added: “I was hoping, and really looking forward to Google doing something.

Google chose to focus on an slightly modified Google Cardboard during last night’s I/O keynote, made larger to accommodate phones up to 6-inches with the original’s metal button replaced with a cardboard one.

Related: Best Google Cardboard Apps 2015

The company’s biggest announcement in terms of VR was Google Jump. This is a special ecosystem for creating virtual reality videos, with a special rig built in conjunction with action cam specialists GoPro.

“This Jump stuff is cool, but they don’t have a device for it,” added Balazs. “I was hoping for something similar to what Samsung did with the Samsung Gear VR or announcing a partnership with phone manufacturers to do something.”
“This is why I think Oculus is the biggest and best bet Facebook has made. I think virtual reality in five years will change the world and that will be the next big platform.”
Balazs isn’t naive enough to believe last nights showing are Google’s only VR efforts, however. He thinks that the search giant might have some VR tech up its sleeve, but is choosing to wait until the technology is further along to reveal it.

It could be the same issue as Google Glass, which Balazs and other believe the company revealed far too early and has subsequently been suspended.

“I think before they’ve spoken about their products too early, and maybe they want to wait for VR. Maybe that’s why this year [Google I/O] was so meh. Google I/O was missing the wow factor. For a keynote, that’s what you need.”

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