Google Cardboard is not just ‘a’ gateway into VR it is THE gateway into VR. While the prices of more costly headsets continue to fall as the market starts to gain some traction, Google Cardboard offers users the introduction to a stunning new world for less than the price of a pizza- and, in many cases, for no cost at all. The reality is, without this product, most people will never get to experience VR- it’s just too expensive at the moment.
A Market Driven by the Medium not the Message
In some crazy kind of way, the market is actually being driven by the advertising and marketing industry. Not because they’re advertising and marketing Google Cardboard, but because they’re using Custom Google Cardboard as the medium to impart their promotional message. It’s as though the fact of advertising in newspapers was driving the uptake of paper by the masses. Probably, never has the medium been as important as the message it is conveying. Until now.
Of course, this offers marketers a double-dip for their company’s product or service. They are not just getting their message across via a product which will inspire interest; they are getting their message across via a product that will inspire.
The Biggest, Least-Threatening Tech Leap Ever
One of the biggest barriers-to-entry for any new technology is the ‘Fear Factor’. Most of the general public needed to achieve escape velocity for any product or technology aren’t like to be that interested—they are far more likely to be downright terrified: Terrified of its complexity; that they might somehow wreck it; that it might be too hard; that they’ll look stupid trying to master it. But, Google Cardboard is different. It would be like being intimidated by a pizza box. A couple of magnets, a couple of lenses, a bit of Velcro, an elastic band and….cardboard. Why would you not give it a go?
“The amazing thing about Cardboard is that it’s truly VR for everyone with a Smartphone. We think there’s something powerful and important in that. Is that the end of the line? Of course it’s not the end of the line. I think if you imagine the types of things that a company with the ambition and the technical resources and the know-how of Google would be working on, we’re working on a lot of those things.” - Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality at Google
A Gateway Drug
Someone once said the Custom Google Cardboard was the gateway drug to VR. Well, it may not be quite that addictive, but it is certainly the route to a whole new viewing experience. Virtual Reality has arrived and it’s not going away. The only question is how long it will take for the thing to get the ubiquity required to achieve ‘mainstream’ status. Every business, or sport’s team or celebrity who uses custom Google Cardboard to get their message out to the masses is a part of the making of the VR industry. At the moment, it’s the early adopters, but that is changing. As the market matures, so those early adopters will have benefitted from the traction their businesses have achieved in being on the right side of a seismic technological leap.