Google demoes mobile VR video advertising format developed by the Area 120 workshop

Google’s Area 120 research unity may be on track to unveiling its first mobile advertising unit for virtual reality (VR) applications. The project is dubbed Advr and focuses on video ads that will ultimately run in VR environments.

Area 120 launched in 2016 as a Google workshop for experimental ideas. It runs early-stage tech projects. With mobile developers having demanded a way to monetise their VR apps, Area 120 has recently presented a first potential format.

The demonstration video (see image above) shows a cube with logos floating inside a VR app. Google says that users can engage with the format by clicking on it.

The company continues that it would like the new VR ad formats to be easy for developers to implement and be native to VR. Flexibility to customise is also a key focus as well as non-intrusive designs for the end user.

The experimental nature of the Area 120 start-up hub suggests that not even Google is entirely certain what the project will turn out to be.

Right now, there are multiple teams working on various projects at Area 120, including a personal stylist project called Tailor. However, Advr is the first to receive a public push from Google.

Ultimately, Advr could be implemented across various VR platforms including Google’s DayDream and the Samsung Gear VR. Right now, however, it’s all just an idea. Whilst testing has begun, it remains to be seen if Advr can be applied with mobile VR.

VR developers are encouraged to get in touch to test the format by applying for early access. Google says the early-stage SDK is now available.

Interested developers can sign up here.