Proving to you that virtual reality is indeed taking off is Google and its rundown of Cardboard’s performance in nineteen months of life. This afternoon, Google detailed what the virtual reality platform has accomplished since launching at I/O 2014. Millions of Cardboard viewers have been sold, people are downloading apps at a rapid pace, and hundreds of thousands of photos and videos are being consumed in virtual reality. In addition, nearly 1 million students have used Google Cardboard in their classrooms to see parts of the world that are usually otherwise inaccessible. The company is showing everyone the simplicity of getting involved in virtual reality with the large potential of what it can be used for.
The two most important figures released by Google today are the Cardboard viewers shipped and the numbers of supported apps in the Play Store. In less than two years, more than 5 million Cardboard viewers have been shipped to be used with over 25 million apps on Google Play. The previous two months saw the latter statistic jump by 10 million apps alone! So, clearly, people are getting Cardboard viewers and then trying out as many apps as they can as quick as they can.
Chair In A Room, Vrse, Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue, Caaaaardboard, and Proton Pulse are the top five apps that work with Google Cardboard. If you need to see an even bigger list, I recommend reading our list of the best virtual reality apps available in early 2016.
When it comes to virtual reality-based videos on YouTube, the world has watched more than 350,000 hours worth of content. And people are using their phones to create virtual reality photographs, eclipsing 750,000 photos taken with Cardboard Camera since December. The app allows you to use your phone to capture the environment around you and display it in a Cardboard viewer for an immerse experience from anywhere.
To me, Google’s biggest Cardboard success is in the classroom. The Expeditions Pioneer Program, which expanded in November, provides classrooms in the United States and internationally with the equipment necessary to send students on virtual reality field trips. Students, almost 1 million of them, have gone to about 150 places worldwide through the Expeditions Pioneer Program.
Google is telling everyone to keep an eye on new creative, entertaining, and educational experiences in virtual reality.