Google Cardboard has been on the market for the past 19 months, and the company has shipped over 5 million units in this duration. It has made a huge jump in units shipped since its last announcement in May during Google I/O when it said it had shipped 1 million VR headsets.
Will Google go beyond Cardboard?
Google’s VR headsets are in demand and have been used to watch more than 350,000 hours of YouTube videos in VR. The Cardboard Camera app Google launched last month has been used to take around 750,000 photos.
With such figures, Google Cardboard has easily become the most popular VR headset. However, this is an entry-level device and has led many to think that the Internet firm could possibly get involved with more serious hardware, such as Oculus, Valve and Sony.
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Google’s VP of VR, Clay Bavor, told Time that anyone who owns a smartphone can use Cardboard, and this is the best thing about it. The company believes there’s something “powerful and important” in that, Bavor said.
Claiming it is not the end, he said, “I think if you imagine the types of things that a company with the ambition and the technical resources and the know-how of Google would be working on, we’re working on a lot of those things.”
Games – the top choice in VR
The most-downloaded VR app was the game Chair in a Room. It is generally believed that gaming will play a very important role in expanding the reach of VR. The second most-downloaded Cardboard app is Vrse, an app primarily dedicated to delivering VR films. This is positive news for the growing number of companies in New York and Los Angeles which are devoting resources to VR-centric video productions.
However, when it comes to Cardboard, gaming is the clear winner in the VR category, with the remaining three slots in the top five occupied by gaming apps. Overall, it can be said with surety that Google’s inexpensive bet on VR is paying off in two ways. First, it is making VR popular among users, and secondly, it helps in knowing what VR videos users are interested in.
On Wednesday, Alphabet shares closed down 2.21% at $717.58. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 8% while in the last year, it is up by over 32%.