Google’s Area 120 gets a dedicated website; unveils Project ‘Advr’ for VR advertising

By : |June 29, 2017 0

Google’s ‘Area 120’ that was launched as a way to retain the entrepreneurial minded talent at the company is finally getting a dedicated website that will allow anyone sign up to its Early Access Program and try out the new products. The incubator has also unveiled another of its interesting experiment called Advr related to VR advertising that involves a cube-like ad format letting video ads to run in a 3D/VR environment.

Area 120 gives the teams the ability to test new ideas that would eventually become Google products, or be integrated with existing products. As with any tech company, employees can sometimes lose their passion by just doing the same old routine work. Google saw this problem in 2015 and launched a program that allows employees to spend 20 percent of their time on their individual projects that excited them and helped them to grow.

Any Googler can apply to be a part of the program but only a select few would be chosen. When selected, a Googler would check out of their normal job and check into Area 120. The enrollment round consists of 15 teams. Each team is given 6 months to prove that the project is viable.

advr cube

Coming back to Advr, the new project is an experiment focused on figuring out if video ads could work in VR, and if so, how they would function. The goal is to enable this functionality across a variety of platforms including Google’s own Daydream, Cardboard, and Samsung’s Gear VR.

Viewers can engage with the cube by tapping on it or staring at it for a few seconds, which then opens a video player where the user can watch the ad. The team behind the application explains that concept of mobile VR ad format came about from hearing developers who wanted ways “to make money to fund their VR applications.”

This launch doesn’t mean that Google is showing through Advr that this is how advertising in VR should work- it’s just an idea at this point. If Advr were to be successful, it would be an example of an Area 120 project that could translate directly to Google’s bottom line. Advr has already begun running tests with some VR game developers, but Google isn’t disclosing which ones.

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