Google's Cardboard Virtual Headset Seems Like A Hit; Now What?

Google's Cardboard Virtual Headset Seems Like A Hit; Now What?
Google is reporting an impressive number of people are using Cardboard, but it's hard to say what's next for the paper-based virtual headset.

The potential for virtual reality is looking better every day. In fact, Google just announced it shipped 5 million units of its virtual-reality viewer, Cardboard.

In a blog post, Google touted more than 25 million apps for Cardboard have been downloaded and people have watched more than 350,000 hours of video in VR. (Video via TechCrunch)

The numbers suggest people are getting excited about VR, but what this info doesn't tell us is what this means for the pricier, high-end devices when they launch.

Cardboard has a relatively low barrier to entry. All you need is a smartphone and at least $20 for the viewer — or the initiative to make it yourself.

Compare that to the Oculus Rift, which will require a powerful PC in addition to the $600 device. So taking VR mainstream might not be as quick and easy as Google's numbers make it seem.

We also don't know where Google plans to take its VR efforts from here. The company has yet to announce a higher-end headset to compete with the Rift or HTC Vive.

On the other hand, it could just focus on Cardboard and building out its VR content library. The company already says it has more than 1,000 Cardboard apps in Google Play.

This video includes images from Getty Images.