Google is open sourcing software of Cardboard Virtual Reality headset. The company hopes the open-source software will encourage developers to make more Cardboard-based VR experience and optimise their apps and services for the diverse smartphone screen and configurations.
Launched in 2014, Google’s Cardboard VR was a simple snap-on DIY virtual reality headset. True to its name, the device was made of cardboard. Users could insert their smartphone and watch VR content through the device. Google says it has shipped 15 million units of the Cardboard VR so far. The company, however, admitted it was seeing a decline in overall usage of Cardboard over time. It also revealed it no longer actively develops SDK for the Google VR.
The open-source material includes APIs for head tracking, lens distortion rendering and input handling. It also features an Android QR code library to make it easier to pair any Cardboard viewer without needing to install the Cardboard application.
“An open source model will enable the community to continue to improve Cardboard support and expand its capabilities, for example adding support for new smartphone display configurations and Cardboard viewers as they become available. We’ll continue to contribute to the Cardboard open source project by releasing new features, including an SDK package for Unity,” said Google in a blog post.
The announcement comes after Google released complete technical specifications of the Cardboard for everyone. With VR trend moving towards standalone devices, Google had discontinued Daydream View VR headset last month.