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Google has shipped over 10 million Cardboard VR headsets

Google says it’s shipped 10 million of its Cardboard virtual reality viewers since they first appeared in 2014. The company celebrated the number in a blog post today, along with a couple more statistics: people have made 160 million downloads of Cardboard apps on Google Play, and 30 Cardboard titles have over a million downloads apiece. The shipment numbers also presumably don’t include mobile VR viewers that aren’t official Cardboard headsets, but could still be used with Cardboard apps.

It’s hard to say how much this tells us about demand for Cardboard headsets, since many were given out for free as promotional tools. The New York Times, for example, mailed over a million of them to print subscribers in 2015, then another round in 2016. But it’s useful to know how many are out there, especially right after Sony gave some hard numbers for its far more expensive PlayStation VR headset. Google’s last big Cardboard milestone came in January of 2016, when it marked 5 million headsets shipped.

Alongside this news, Google announced a few new virtual and augmented reality apps. For Daydream, there’s a video app from broadcasting company Sky, offering 360-degree videos. For its Tango augmented reality platform, there are three new apps. A Sims app lets you tour a Sims house, Chelsea Kicker lets you play with a virtual soccer star, and WSJ AR visualizes stock trends in augmented reality. None of these are exactly killer apps, but they show continued — if gradual — investment in VR and AR.


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