Google throws Google Cardboard developers a life-line with open source move

Joanna Estrada
November 8, 2019

"While we've seen overall usage of Cardboard decline over time and we're no longer actively developing the Google VR SDK, we still see consistent usage around entertainment and education experiences, like YouTube and Expeditions, and want to ensure that Cardboard's no-frills, accessible-to-everyone approach to VR remains available", he wrote.

Google has thankfully thrown those users a lifeline by open sourcing the Google Cardboard project, allowing end-users to create a full stack of experiences without any dependence on Google's support.

While it hasn't shared specific details, Google has promised that it will continue to contribute to the Cardboard open source project by introducing new features, including an SDK package for Unity. The search giant claims 15 million units of Cardboard VR -made using its Cardboard Manufacturer Kit - were used worldwide.

We reported earlier that Google had ceased the production and sale of Daydream View headsets, after noting a general decline in its usage. Today, the company is making moves in VR to open source the once-popular Google Cardboard. While Google itself is moving away from phone-based VR, it's good to know that it will still be alive in some form or other.

The Cardboard SDK is open to developers on both Android and iOS and supports motion tracking, stereoscopic rendering and user interaction via the viewer button. 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. If the open source Cardboard becomes successful, it will hopefully encourage Google to also open source Daydream to at least keep mobile VR from going extinct.

You can check out Cardboard VR's developer documentation here, and find the GitHub code repository here.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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