Google revealed today that Cardboard has quietly become the leading VR platform in terms of platform reach – over 1 million Cardboard units have shipped to users so far, a 100 percent increase on the 500,000 milestone it announced in December last year.
Cardboard’s progression is a testament to Google’s approach, which favors simplicity and low barriers to entry instead of freaky real verisimilitude and expensive, high-powered hardware. Google first revealed Cardboard at last year’s I/O event, throwing it out there almost as an afterthought and a seeming subtle dig at Facebook’s high-priced acquisition of Oculus VR.
A rapidly expanding user pool is great news for developers looking to see what users actually want from VR experiences, and lets them begin to see how VR might be best applied to a wider, lower-cost segment.
Cardboard, and its third-party equivalents, are easily the market leader in consumer VR at the moment, without Google having much to do besides create a cool, inexpensive craft kit.