Mobile VR usage has skyrocketed last year.
Google has announced that it shipped over 10 million Cardboard VR viewers since its launch in 2014. The company also said that over 160 million Cardboard apps have been downloaded, out of which 30 apps have over 1 million downloads. The numbers are a healthy increase from January 2016, when Google touted 5 million sales and 25 million installs for Cardboard apps.
In recent months, Google has turned its attention to the Daydream mobile VR platform, with the company stating that it built a more immersive platform thanks to lessons learned from Cardboard. The Daydream View VR headset currently works with six phones — Axon 7, Pixel, Pixel XL, and the Moto Z series — and there are over 100 apps tailored for the platform. Google says that people using Daydream are spending about 40 minutes per week using the platform, and that YouTube accounts for over half of all content consumption.
At Mobile World Congress, Google’s VP of VR Amit Singh detailed new experiences coming to the Daydream platform. The company has partnered with Sky to bring Sky VR content to Daydream, including a red carpet show for Star Wars, David Beckham specials, clips from Disney’s The Jungle Book, and more. The content was previously limited to Cardboard, but today’s announcement makes it available for those using Daydream as well.
In addition to Sky VR, Google is adding new AR experiences:
Tango technology powers devices that help you bring virtual objects into your world, and now three new augmented reality (AR) experiences are available. The Sims app lets you use your phone with Tango technology to travel around the Sims house; Chelsea Kicker puts a Chelsea football player right in your space, so you can take your picture with him or even try to best him at a few soccer tricks; and WSJ AR lets you visualize stock trends.