Google says it has shipped 5 million Cardboard Virtual Reality devices.
Alphabet Inc’s Google said it had shipped 5 million units of the Google Cardboard viewer, a wearable device that allows users to experience virtual reality through mobile apps.
The company, which launched the Cardboard viewer a year and a half earlier, said on Wednesday that there had been 25 million downloads of Cardboard apps from its Google Play app store.
Google has been exploring virtual reality for a while but the company dived into the concept this month by setting up a new division for virtual reality computing.
Oculus, the virtual reality company Facebook Inc bought in 2014, started accepting pre-orders this month for its much-awaited headset, Rift, which will ship in first quarter.
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Google said in November that its video-sharing site, YouTube, supported virtual reality videos. Viewers can watch virtual reality videos using a mobile device and the Google Cardboard viewer. Google said more than 350,000 hours of YouTube videos had been watched in virtual reality.
Google had indicated that it is taking virtual reality more seriously in the last couple of weeks. The company now has its own Virtual Reality, and appointed Clay Bavor as the new Vice-President for it.
Recent job postings, first noticed by RoadtoVR, indicate that Google is looking for a new hardware engineer in order to help build its new consumer-ready VR product. Google’s VR devices will eventually compete with Facebook’s Oculus and HTC’s Vive.
So far, the Google cardboard VR set has been nothing more than fun take on the area. But as we saw at last year’s Google I/O conference, the company has bigger plans with virtual reality, including 360-degree cameras to record and create VR content, which will be pretty important for the growth of VR.
Last year, Google also announced that its Cardboard Camera app will let users take Virtual-reality (VR) ready pictures on their smartphones, and then experience these on a cardboard viewer.
Also Google has its own vested interests in augmented reality space with its investments in Magic Leap, a startup designing AR hardware similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens.
With Reuters inputs