Google has been moving into the Virtual Reality space for a few years now, ever since Cardboard was announced as a throwaway at the end of Google I/O back in 2014. They’ve previously left the sales of devices, including the DIY Cardboard headsets to other manufacturers but now it seems you can buy them from Google themselves, at least in the US.
Google is offering three headsets on the Google Store, with their own Cardboard headset selling for $15USD, the Mattel View-Master VR Starter Pack, which includes an iPhone 5/5c/5s adaptor and View-Master preview reel selling for $29.99USD and the Goggle Tech C1-Glass VR Viewer selling for $14.99USD.
The headsets ship for free from the Google Store to the US, but at this stage there’s no sign of the headsets on other stores and Google hasn’t updated their Hardware availability site with the new products as yet.
Google has been ramping up their VR efforts of late, rumours abound of a standalone Google VR product in development, but so far they’ve been content to push the Cardboard platform as their preferred VR system. It’s fairly successful too, with Google recently announcing that over 5-million Cardboard viewers had been shipped around the world and over 25 Million Cardboard app installs have been completed.
It’s a big day for VR with HTC opening pre-orders for the Vive system and this is a nice move from Google and we’d love to see Google expand the availability to countries beyond the US. We’ll have to wait and see though.
Have you used Cardboard? What’s your favourite app?