Google is open sourcing Cardboard after killing Daydream VR platform

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

There was a ton of excitement around virtual reality – and more specifically, phone-based VR – in the early 2010s.

The Oculus Rift jumpstarted the modern VR craze but steep prices and the fact that a high-end computer was a necessary component limited adoption. When companies like Google demonstrated that VR could be done with mobile phones, folks took notice. Inexpensive viewers flooded the market and the initial reaction was positive – Google moved more than 15 million units worldwide – but once the novelty of it wore off, interest waned and manufacturers have reacted accordingly.

Samsung no longer supports the Gear VR with its latest smartphones. Google last month said it was shutting down its Daydream VR platform and now, the company is open-sourcing Google Cardboard.

Jeffrey Chen, product manager for AR & VR at Google, said they’ve seen usage of Cardboard decline over time but want to ensure that its “no-frills, accessible-to-everyone approach to VR remains available.”

As such, Google is releasing the Cardboard open source project so the developer community can still build Cardboard experiences and add support to their apps. The search giant said it will continue to contribute to the project by releasing new features, like an SDK package for Unity.

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I think the author is making some incorrect assumptions here. GearVR isn't dying because mobile VR is dying. It's only a single HMD in an increasingly competitive field. Ditto goes for the other discontinued headsets. They are rather old at this point as well. The oculus quest has been selling like hot cakes and then are hundreds of other HMDs to fit your phone into. It makes sense too, anyone getting into mobile VR should be getting a quest given that it is completely wireless VR with many of the features of PCVR. It's superior to any other mobile VR solution.

I don't know why TechSpot continues to push this anti-VR narrative but it's clear to me the author here hasn't been following the market.