Google Cardboard says it's shipped 5 million virtual reality viewers

Google offers Cardboard path to virtual reality

No one would ever mistake the virtual reality experience of Google Cardboard, which uses flimsy cardboard viewers, for the high-octane Oculus Rift or the soon-to-be-released Sony Playstation VR headset.

And that's the point. Google Cardboard aimed to get as many people using as possible during the early stages of the budding technology. All users need is to slip their smartphone into the viewer.

That appears to have paid off. Google Cardboard, a subsidiary of the newly formed Alphabet Inc., said Wednesday it had shipped 5 million of its foldable viewers since they were first offered 19 months ago.

In that time, 25 million Google Cardboard apps have been downloaded from Google Play, and users have watched more than 350,000 hours of VR video on the devices, the company said.

The sheer numbers give Google something of an edge as the VR wars begin to heat up. That can quickly change, of course, if consumers decide they prefer the computing power of a Playstation or even the more immersive headset offered by Samsung, which also requires the use of a smartphone.

It will cost you, though. Google Cardboard is priced at around $20 (the company even offers instructions on how to make one yourself from scratch). A Samsung Gear VR costs about $100 and the Playstation VR is expected to cost hundreds of dollars.

A recent survey by Frank N. Magid Associates showed that video gamers identified more with high-end VR devices than the more casual Google Cardboard.

When polled, one-quarter said they were aware of the Oculus Rift, followed by Samsung VR Gear at 21 percent, PlayStation VR at 20 percent and Google Cardboard at 17 percent.


Explore further

A VR Kit from Microsoft? May be budget-worthy contender

©2016 Los Angeles Times
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Google Cardboard says it's shipped 5 million virtual reality viewers (2016, January 29) retrieved 17 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-google-cardboard-shipped-million-virtual.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
8 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more