Google has announced its do-it-yourself Cardboard Virtual Reality headset is now in the hands of half a million VR enthusiasts.
The Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR rival, crafted from little more than folded cardboard with two eye holes and a smartphone, was announced at Google I/O earlier this summer.
Early testing of the device saw surprising acclaim and now Google is offering an update on the success of the project.
Today brings news of new places to obtain a Cardboard VR headset, new specs for those seeking to create them, new tools for folks wishing to develop VR experiences, as well new ways for wearers to discover apps.
In a post on the Google Developers blog the company said: “There are now dozens of Cardboard-compatible apps on Google Play, and starting today we’re dedicating a new collection page to some of our favorites.
“These VR experiences range from test drives to live concerts to fully-immersive games, and they all have something amazing to offer. So give ‘em a try today, and download the new Cardboard app to watch the collection grow over time,” wrote Android Nartker, the project manager for Google Cardboard.
Google also announced interpretations of the Cardboard headset from third-party manufacturers (none of which are certified by Google) can now be snapped up from DODOcase, I Am Cardboard, Knoxlabs, and Unofficial Cardboard.
Furthermore, Google has released a Cardboard SDK for Android and Unity, which is says simplifies “common VR development tasks so you can focus on your awesome, immersive app.”
Lastly, Google says this isn’t the end of the road for its bargain basement VR project. It’s hiring folks for its own VR projects.
Nartker added: “The growth of mobile, and the acceleration of open platforms like Android make it an especially exciting time for VR. There are more devices, and more enthusiastic developers than ever before, and we can’t wait to see what’s next! We’re also working on a few projects ourselves, so if you’re passionate about VR, you should know we’re hiring.
“Here’s to the cardboard box, and all the awesome it brings.”