Technology 2 min read

Google Open Sources Cardboard After Shutting Down Daydream

Alexandru Nika / Shutterstock.com

Alexandru Nika / Shutterstock.com

Months after announcing Pixel 4's not going to support Daydream, Google has now made its Cardboard source code accessible to developers and researchers.

Less than a month ago, Google discontinued its Daydream View VR headset. Now, reports suggest that it’s also open-sourcing the software of Cardboard, hence ending its dream of dominating mobile VR.

In 2014, Google introduced the Cardboard VR during its developer conference, Google IO, in San Francisco. It was the first DIY kit that offered an affordable way to experience VR.

At first, the Cardboard VR generated a lot of excitement. According to Google, over 15 million units shipped worldwide.

However, the novelty of the tech soon wore off, and usage of the kit declined over time,

Now the search engine giant is no longer actively developing the Software Development Kit. Instead, Google is releasing the open-source project to enable the developer community to contribute to the experience.

In a blog post, product manager, AR & VR at Google, Jeffrey Chen wrote:

“We think that an open-source model—with additional contributions from us—is the best way for developers to continue to build experiences for Cardboard.”

Now that Google has open-sourced Cardboard, it’s safe to say that phone-based VR is officially over.

The Rise and Fall of Cardboard VR

In the early 2010s, phone-based VR seems to be the future of virtual reality, and most tech companies wanted to be part of it. Cardboard was Google’s way of providing affordable VR.

Unfortunately, the project never took off as the tech company had envisioned.

Cardboard reportedly suffered from issues that range from latency and lags to a lack of compelling VR apps. Besides, the overall interest in phone-based VRs declined in recent times too for various reasons.

The immersive 3D apps drained precious phone batteries, and VR headsets like Gear can be challenging to set up. Also, the fact that these phone-based VR could not deliver the intense physical experience associated with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive didn’t help.

Responding to this shift in interest, phone makers have dialed back their VR efforts too. Instead, they are focusing on providing great AR experiences via Apple‘s ARKit and Google’s ARCore.

Read More: How the Oculus Quest Will Change the VR Game Forever

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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