RIP Google Cardboard

RIP Google Cardboard

Six years ago Google was going hard on its Google Cardboard VR contraptions. It certainly was a time to be alive. But now that journey has come to an end.

Google Cardboard was first released in 2014, offering an ultra low-budget entry into the VR space. It was compatible with any smart phone capable of VR, making it incredibly accessible compared to the other high-spec (and priced) VR headsets on the market.

But now Google has now completely ceased selling its cardboard hardware online. But to be fair there wasn’t really much left.

While it says it will still support interested community members through open source, it will no longer be stocking the products.

“We are no longer selling Google Cardboard on the Google Store,” the U.S. Google store listing now reads.

“We will continue to help the community build new experiences through our Cardboard open source project.”

The writing has been on the wall for the tech giant’s VR endeavours for awhile now. Back in 2019 the company made the Cardboard VR SDK open-sourced, essentially handing the reigns over to interested developers.

It also recently sunsetted its Google Daydream headsets — the fabric coated VR hardware that it released after Google Cardboard landed on the market.

Instead, the company seems to have pivoted towards in-built Augmented Reality within its apps and phones, meaning it doesn’t have to deal with additional hardware solutions.

Some good examples of this include its Live AR View in Google Maps as well as its cute and sometimes terrifying AR Animals.

If you’re still a dedicated Google Cardboard fan, you can still get it from third-party sellers.

And for developers, the Cardboard open source project is still kicking, though it is unclear how much longer Google will still be actively involved.