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We reported earlier that Google had ceased the production and sale of Daydream View headsets, after noting a general decline in its usage. Google is stepping away from phone-based VR in total, with Google Cardboard also losing support.
Google had however been promoting the use of the devices in a number of educational settings, and the cheap headsets have been widely distributed by some media companies such as the New York Times, leaving those users potentially stranded.
Google has thankfully thrown those users a lifeline by open sourcing the Google Cardboard project, allowing end-users to create a full stack of experiences without any dependence on Google’s support. Google has already open sources the design and creation of the cardboard headsets, and the release of the code lets any developer now integrate features such as head tracking, lens distortion rendering and input, and also importantly QR code-based headset pairing, in their apps.
Google promised to continue to contribute to the now open source project, including contributing a developer kit package for the Unity game engine, which would help developers adapt to new phone displays and other changes without Google.
Of course, there is no guarantee this effort will keep Cardboard alive, given that phone-based VR is on the decline, in any case, but the move has the potential to make the technology even more pervasive without Google’s control.
Read more at Google here.