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Google Cardboard

Discontinued virtual reality platform / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Google Cardboard is a discontinued virtual reality (VR) platform developed by Google. Named for its fold-out cardboard viewer into which a smartphone is inserted, the platform was intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR applications.[1][2] Users can either build their own viewer from simple, low-cost components using specifications published by Google, or purchase a pre-manufactured one. To use the platform, users run Cardboard-compatible mobile apps on their phone, place it into the back of the viewer, and view content through the lenses.

Quick facts: Developer, Manufacturer, Type, Release date, ...
Google Cardboard
Second-generation Google Cardboard viewer
ManufacturerGoogle, third-party companies
TypeVirtual reality platform
Release dateJune 25, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-06-25)
DiscontinuedMarch 3, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-03-03)
(Official viewer, Google Store)
Units shipped15 million
Operating systemAndroid, iOS
SuccessorGoogle Daydream
Website at the Wayback Machine (archived May 6, 2023)

The platform was created by David Coz and Damien Henry, French Google engineers at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris, in their 20% "Innovation Time Off".[3] It was introduced at the Google I/O 2014 developers conference, where a Cardboard viewer was given away to all attendees. The Cardboard software development kit (SDK) was released for the Android and iOS operating systems; the SDK's VR View allows developers to embed VR content on the web as well as in their apps.[4]

Through March 2017, over 160 million Cardboard-enabled app downloads were made. By November 2019, over 15 million viewer units had shipped. After the success of Cardboard, Google developed an enhanced VR platform, Daydream, which was launched in 2016. Following declining interest in Cardboard, Google announced in November 2019 that it would open-source the platform's SDK.[5] In March 2021, the Google Store stopped selling Cardboard viewers.[6] As of November 2021, third-party companies continue to sell compatible viewers.[7]

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