New York: Internet giant Google is developing a version of its Android operating system to power the virtual reality apps, the wall Street Journal reported.
Virtual reality is being described as the next big thing. Facebook has earlier said that how VR headsets would let friends communicate as if they're together in the same room.
A team of 'tens of engineers' set up by the Company, are working to build the version of the operating system that can be integrated in future devices, the Journal said on Friday,
The report also said that like Android, which went on to become the most popular operating system for smartphones, the company will also distribute the latest version for free.
With rivals investing heavily in VR, it would make sense for Google to build its own OS. Facebook has termed VR as the next big platform after mobile, and it took over headset maker Oculus VR last year for US$2 billion.
Google's project faces stiff competition from Facebook, owner of virtual reality headgear star Oculus Rift, among others.
Leading the Android VR effort are veterans Clay Bavor and Jeremy Doig, the Wall Street Journal said. Bavor helped to create Google Cardboard, the company's low-tech virtual reality viewer that attracted attention at last year's Google I/O conference.
Google Cardboard is essentially a piece of cardboard with some extra components that can turn an Android smartphone into a 3-D viewer.
In developing Cardboard, Google may have learned lessons to apply to a full-fledged Android VR OS.
And who knows, it may also have learned a little something about VR from Google Glass, the consumer version of which is now on hold.
The technology made headlines early in the week as headgear makers took centerstage at a Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Sony launched a new-generation prototype of its 'Morpheus' virtual reality headgear on Wednesday and said a version for consumers is on track for release in the first half of next year.
Smartphone maker HTC and Microsoft with its HoloLens are also heavy hitters in the headgear industry.