Just as Samsung and Oculus release their virtual reality headset for mobile devices with the Gear VR, Google is reminding the world that they kind of, sort of came first. Released first back at Google I/O 2014 earlier this year, the fold-up piece of cardboard with two glass lenses and a metal washer for a button was released basically in secret. Now just a few months later, Google has released their homepage for the unit and a dedicated section on Google Play. Now, they mean business.
Google didn’t make more than a peep about it during their presentation to the public, then gave away a few hundred at the developer event. After that, things sort of exploded. 3rd-party manufacturers jumped in and created kits – which you can now see on Google’s Cardboard page – and thousands of units were sold. According to Google, 500k units are out there in the wild right this minute.
Prospective users are encouraged by Google to either make their own unit with Google’s list of parts OR to buy one from one of four manufacturers: DODOcase, I Am Cardboard, Knox Labs, or Unofficial Cardboard. They remind you that none of these manufacturers are Google certified, of course.
Users that already have Google Cardboard are encouraged to check out Google’s Apps or to head to Google Play to see the new Google Cardboard category. It’s already packed. And it’s not the only new category coming to Google Play today.
Developer are able to jump in to the fold on the Google Cardboard developers page, making 3D apps arrive with speed. It should be rather evident on Google Play right this minute that more than a few developers have already jumped onboard.
Stay tuned as we speak with Google’s new Cardboard team and hit you this week with more than feature on the awesome abilities of Cardboard in the wild!