Last week, Google introduced Advr, a new potential format for native ads in mobile VR. The project is just a proposal at this point, and it involves an interactive cube that displays ads when users engage with it or just look at it for too long.
In announcing Advr, the tech giant also introduced more formally its Area 120 incubator, out of which the advertisement project originated. This platform was launched a little over a year ago and had only existed in relative obscurity outside the knowledge of Google’s own employees.
A vast majority of Google’s profits come from advertisement, more precisely from AdWords and AdSense, so it makes sense it is trying to make its incursion into virtual reality as well. Adobe and Facebook have the same intentions.
What is Advr and how does it work
Advr is a non-intrusive advertisement format created in-house by a team of Google developers under the Area 120 initiative. It works by introducing a cube into VR environments and letting users choose whether they want to interact with it or not.
When engaged, the passive element does not take over the virtual experience either. The cube displays different ads on each side and, if prompted by the user directly or through extended observation, it will bring up videos projected on a wall to promote products, apps, services, and more.
The format is simply an experiment at this stage, but it does say a lot that it is the first Area 120 project publicly introduced by Google. The tech giant is in its third generation of domestic entrepreneurs already, each of which counts with 15 teams working on different projects.
Advertising is at the core of Google’s business, so of course, the company is looking for ways to monetize the yet unprofitable spectrum on both mobile and desktop platforms. It is starting small with mobile, and it is already working with VR developers.
The Mountain View firm won’t say who are its partners, but it did say that it is developing Advr further to work with Google Cardboard on both Android and iOS, Daydream, and Samsung Gear VR.
Google’s Area 120 invites workers to be a part of the next generation
Virtual reality developers who are curious enough to try their hand at Advr will find that it is as easy as signing up for an early access program. Apparently, the new ad platform is basically a Unity plug-in that doesn’t take many workarounds to implement.
Google employees, on the other hand, can also sign up for early access providing their email address and mobile OS of preference in the recently debuted Area 120 website. If selected, workers get to work full-time on their passion project for six months and potentially launching a game-changing product as a result.