Google has just built a prototype for virtual-reality ads on mobile devices

Key Points
  • Google researchers said in a blog post they've built an early version of a virtual-reality advertising format.
  • The prototype made by experimental unit Area 120 is built specifically for mobile VR apps
  • It presents a cube floating inside a VR app that, when tapped, can open the ad.
Larry Page chief executive officer of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc.
Getty Images

Researchers at Google's experimental unit, Area 120, say they've built their first version of a digital advertising format designed specifically for mobile, virtual-reality applications.

The unit showed a prototype of the still-nameless product in a blog post co-authored by Google product manager Aayush Upadhyay and associate project manager Neel Rao.

The demonstration video showed a cube floating inside a VR app that can be clicked to activate a digital ad.

Alphabet's Google and rival Facebook are racing to develop such ads, expecting developers to create a flood of apps that use the technology.

"Our work focuses on a few key principles -- VR ad formats should be easy for developers to implement...and useful and non-intrusive for users," the research pair said in the post.

Area 120 has released an early stage software developer kit for use in building VR apps, the post said.

Watch: Google considers appealing EU fine

Google: Considering appeal against EU antitrust fine