Google is investing a lot of effort into its Cardboard and Daydream VR frameworks. Google’s Vice President of VR Amit Singh provided some updates regarding its past and currently ongoing effort in the field. He said that Google has shipped 10 million Cardboard VR sets to date, and has witnessed 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps, of which 30 individual apps were downloaded at least 1 million times apiece
The comments were made from the stage of Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, where Singh spoke about the niche and Google’s future plans for it.
This milestone is worth appreciating considering the fact that Google is out with its new iteration of VR efforts in the form of Daydream — which enables any compatible handset to take the form of a VR headset (when inserted into the wearable accessory mounted over your head) — since it seems like the old installment has still maintained its momentum. It was only in July last year when Google crossed the landmark of shipping 5 million cardboard headsets since its launch in 2014.
Singh also spoke about Daydream, which he considers to be “more immersive” in comparison to Cardboard. He said that people having a Daydream compatible handset/headset spend 40 minutes of their week time watching them. The market now has 6 phones and as many as 100 Daydream apps to explore, he noted.
He also said that more that half of the content consumed on Daydream is from YouTube, however, they will dedicate more efforts on providing more premium contents (professional and not necessarily paid) on its platform, in form of series, starting this year.
Singh said that there has been more than 1 million views of the NFL series in the United States. And now in Europe, Google is collaborating with Sky VR- a VR enterprise initiated by Europe’s dominant pay-TV provider, to bring it to Daydream.
In starting, the featured content will include both primary films and original series along with supplementary programs. Some of them will be a red carpet show for Star Wars, scenes from the Jungle Book, and Sky Sports experiences featuring legends like David Beckham and sporting events like Formula One. Daydream’s other premium contents will come from partners like Hulu, Netflix and HBO.
In a separate blog post which was published after Singh’s on-stage appearance, Google also talked about its augmented reality platform Tango. It is out with some really interesting stuffs, notably the Sims app which lets you wander around the Sims house, or the Chelsea Kicker app which will bring forth an avatar of a Chelsea player for taking selfie with you or even show you some cool football tricks.