16 October 2019
Google has turned Cardboard into an open-source project so that anyone can create experiences for it. The announcement has come less than a month after it confirmed killing Daydream VR. This is not surprising as none of Google's virtual reality (VR) efforts have proved to be a success and have failed to get any substantial user traction.
Google Cardboard was released in 2014 with the goal of encouraging and introducing users towards VR experiences. It was a DIY and phone-based VR viewer headset where a user can slide his device into the headset for accessing VR content. As per official numbers, over 15 million Cardboard units were shipped worldwide but its overall usage has seen a significant decline over the years.
This is the reason Cardboard has been made open-source so that other developers can continue working on the platform. Even though Google is ending active development on Cardboard from its end, it has assured "additional contributions" to help developers.
In an official blog post, Google said:
"We're releasing libraries for developers to build their Cardboard apps for iOS and Android and render VR experiences on Cardboard viewers. The open-source project provides APIs for head tracking, lens distortion rendering and input handling. We’ve also included an Android QR code library, so that apps can pair any Cardboard viewer without depending on the Cardboard app."
It should be noted that Google has not stopped selling Cardboard viewer yet. If you are interested, it can be purchased via the online Google Store for only $15.