Google Cardboard has been huge for VR. The average person on the street does not own a headset but it has opened the eyes of thousands of people experiencing VR for the first time. Google Daydream is launching in November and Google are playing their cards close to their chest.
With Google Daydream View hitting shelves soon, there is a worry that Google may drop Cardboard. We weigh up the factors that will affect the Cardboard’s future.
VR is a novelty for most at the moment and if Daydream View exceeds the $130 or £100 mark this will seriously put people off.
Google will have to keep the cost low if people are forced to buy a new “daydream ready” phone that only wealthy early adopters can afford.
Google should make sure that high-spec expensive phones do not become a barrier to VR as expensive high-spec PCs have been to Oculus and Vive.
Google have only stated that the Pixel Phone is “Daydream” compatible so far. However, there will surely be more phones announced that are Daydream compatible coming this way. These phones will top of the range models that will exclude people who are not ready to upgrade quite yet.
Long term it will be interesting if the platform remains Android phone only. Google Cardboard currently works with IOS, but the worry is if Google is making Daydream an Android exclusive device then a large proportion of the phone market will be locked out. Apple will surely be watching the success of Daydream to see if it will invest in its own product, especially if its own users are blocked from using the new system.
I predict that Google will want to keep Cardboard as the entry level product that will intrigue people to invest in more expensive VR systems.
Google have invested promoting Cardboard, pushed the product in education and opened the platform to developers so I doubt they will kill Cardboard when it’s already a completed low-cost product that has already gained a massive amount of PR already.
In Conclusion, we think Google Cardboard is here to stay. Cardboard is the cheap product that will open the gateway to more expensive systems.