Google open sources Cardboard VR after killing its Daydream project

Google Cardboard is now open source to keep the mobile VR daydream alive

Google Cardboard is now open source to keep the mobile VR daydream alive

GOOGLE MAY HAVE given up on Daydream View - its fabric virtual reality headset for Pixel phones - but it's not ready to pull the plug on its Cardboard VR platform just yet.

Google had however been promoting the use of the devices in a number of educational settings, and the cheap headsets have been widely distributed by some media companies such as the New York Times, leaving those users potentially stranded. Cardboard, on the other hand, was a quirky low-tech approach to VR, and it was probably more successful than Daydream. And while Googles mobile VR ambitions are on hold for the foreseeable future the company announced its opening its Cardboard SDK to developers with hopes of prolonging its life span.

Previously, Google made the technical specifications of the physical Cardboard "headset" available for anyone to download. In a developers blog, Google says that it will continue to contribute to the project by adding new features.

We're releasing libraries for developers to build their Cardboard apps for iOS and Android and render VR experiences on Cardboard viewers. It's even throwing in an Android QR code library, meaning that any VR software can be paired with a headset without needing to go via the somewhat neglected Cardboard app. In the recent past, however, Cardboard usage has seen a decline.

The launch of the project comes five years after Google first introduced Cardboard, and follows on from Google's Cardboard Manufacture Kit, a separate open source project that enabled third-party manufacturers to design and build their own compatible virtual reality viewers (VR). This is a cool move for anyone still interested in mobile VR, but it also shows how Google isn't really invested in it anymore.

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