Alphabet reveals the statistics behind Google Cardboard, its VR project, and factors that make it popular
Google Cardboard—Alphabet’s VR project—made its debut at the Google I/O 2014 conference; it raised eyebrows, and stole the spotlight. Contrary to popular belief, the aspect that derived hype for Cardboard comprises VR films and numerous game applications.
Initially, the company believed that VR would be greatly impacted by seeding of the gaming apps on Google Play. However, YouTube—the company’s own video portal—also offers an app, where people can view videos in VR mode, with a 360-degree view.
VR is offered in numerous apps, such as “Chair in a Room” and “Vrse,” which delivers VR-based films. Technological shifts can be seen in recent news, where Los Angeles’ and New York’s production companies add more VR resources in their video production to give their audiences the immersive experience they need.
VP VR Clavor Bavor commented on the matter, and said that YouTube’s VR videos total at about 350,000 hours, at present. It has also been highlighted that the VR platform has been popularized by tourists and students, who are familiar with the service, which adds to the archive of videos already available.
Approximately 750,000 photos on the most-popular Google Cardboard apps are in VR format. The photos are taken via Cardboard’s camera app and hardware to capture the experience. These apps’ popularity suggests that gaming on Cardboard does not appear to be as fruitful as the video experiences it provides.
Cardboard, being one of the cheapest VR kits available, lacks the hardware sported in Samsung’s VR Gear or Facebook’s Oculus Rift, which is capable of better user interaction. Therefore, it should focus on image-capturing, video-viewing, and some apps that keep users engaged with the VR experience.