Cardboard was an integral part of the modern VR narrative.
A quick search on the Google Store shows that the $15 viewer is no longer available for purchase. Third-party options are still on offer from retailers like Amazon and eBay if you really must have one, but it’s really hard to imagine a world where cardboard viewers will be famous again. They fulfilled their task of helping spread the message about modern VR and are probably best left in the past.
Oculus is widely credited with jumpstarting the modern virtual reality movement, but several other companies have played an integral part in getting to where we are today.
Google did its part almost seven years ago with the introduction of a low-cost virtual reality viewer called Cardboard. The device, literally made of cardboard, allowed people to slide their mobile phones into a slot in front of the viewer, creating a makeshift VR headset for not a lot of money.
Google Cardboard led to the launch of the Daydream Platform in 2016, but it would be short-lived. Less than three years after launch, Daydream was discontinued by Google. Shortly thereafter, the search giant decided to open the source cardboard. At that point, the writing was on the wall, but Cardboard was still available… until now.
Image courtesy Alexandru Nika