Google Open-Sources Its Cardboard Augmented Reality Project 11/07/2019

Yolanda Curtis
November 9, 2019

According to Google People did not want to leave their mobile phones while using the headset.

Google may have stopped working on daydream and cardboard, but they definitely do not want to waste the SDK of cardboard.


This move to make the Cardboard project open source will mean that developers will have an easier time creating their own VR experiences and even adding support for Cardboard headsets to their pre-existing apps. So Google open-sourced the hardware of Google cardboard in hope of some innovation. Google launched the Cardboard headsets 5 years ago with some giveaways. Now they are taking the same approach on the software side of things. Google is stepping away from phone-based VR in total, with Google Cardboard also losing support. Perhaps realising that it's no longer the best evangelist for a format it's quietly abandoned, the company has made a decision to open source everything Cardboard related, letting others pick up the pieces instead. We've also included an Android QR code library, so that apps can pair any Cardboard viewer without depending on the Cardboard app.

If you're interested in developing Cardboard apps, your first port of call should be the developer documentation, which you can find here. Google will continue to make some contributions, most notably an SDK package for Unity.


Google reportedly plans to issue Cardboard-related iOS and Android libraries pertaining to supporting features like head tracking, lens distortion rendering, and input handling.

This neglect is acknowledged by Chan in the blog post, but the company wants to keep it alive as a low-priced VR solution for those who can't go dropping £400 on an Oculus Quest at the drop of a hat. Google last month said it was shutting down its Daydream VR platform and now, the company is open-sourcing Google Cardboard. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.


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