Google Cardboard reaches impressive milestone as VR goes mainstream

We had a feeling Google Cardboard would be big when it first launched nearly two years ago, and it looks like people agree. Google on Wednesday revealed more than 5 million Cardboard viewers have been shipped, proving you don’t need complex equipment to make virtual reality fun.

The importance of Cardboard has always been how accessible it makes VR, which is often associated with expensive headsets and complex wiring. Cardboard might not be quite as immersive as something like Oculus Rift or HTV Vive, but it still provides an escape to faraway worlds. Not to mention there is a ton of content on YouTubeahem—to watch using Cardboard.

Also consider the type of educational implications Cardboard has. It’s one thing to watch a film or stare at a picture. But outfit an entire classroom with Cardboard, and suddenly kids are able to travel to distant lands without leaving their seats; it makes for a much more engaging learning experience. You no longer just look at a photo of a dinosaur; you can stand beside one as they existed millions of years ago.

Here are some of the impressive figures revealed by Google:

  • 25 million installs of cardboard apps from Google Play
  • 350,000 hours of YouTube videos watched in VR
  • 750,000 VR photos taken with Cardboard camera
  • 500,000 students went on Expeditions

Cardboard may have started off as a fun side project, but it sure looks like VR will become a big part of Google’s future; recent job listings revealed the search giant is getting serious about building even more VR gadgets. 5 million viewers shipped is just the start.

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