Google is putting a lot of its virtual reality focus right now on its Daydream VR framework, which can turn a Daydream-compatible mobile handset into a VR headset, but today Amit Singh, the company’s VP of VR, also gave an update on its earlier (and still active) effort in the area, Google Cardboard. He said that to date the company has shipped 10 million Cardboard VR sets, and it has seen 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps, with 30 individual Cardboard apps downloaded at least 1 million times each.
The comments were made on stage at Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, where Singh is speaking today.
It’s an interesting milestone and shows that even while Google is pushing the next iteration of its VR efforts to hit a wider range of devices and users, Cardboard continues to have some momentum. It was only in July of last year that Google said it had hit 5 million headsets shipped.
He also gave an update on Daydream, which Singh described as a “more immersive” experience than Cardboard and the result of what Google has learned from the first product. He said that well over 50% of all content consumption on Daydream is of YouTube content, and it’s going to put more focus now on providing more premium (professional not necessarily paid) content on the platform in the form of series.
“You will start to see significant series coming out this year,” Singh said. He said that there have been over 1 million views of an NFL series in the U.S. Now in Europe Google has partnered with SkyVR, he announced today.
“SkyVR is coming to Daydream,” he said. Initial content will include both primary films and original series, as well as supplementary programs, Singh noted. Some will be a “red carpet” show for Star Wars, the Jungle Book, and Sky Sports experiences with personalities like David Beckham and sports like Formula One.
I’ll be speaking to Singh later today and will update this post with more of his thoughts. Google will likely be making more elaborations on Singh’s announcements just now and I’ll add those in too.