Google's simple VR experience has expanded to new devices, with new software and purposes.
As impressive as it is for Google to announce that over one million Cardboard viewers have been folded and activated around the world, you can't get far in a conversation about this inexpensive little box without hearing about the lack of support for many devices. Google has updated the Cardboard design to support larger devices like the Nexus 6, but has also updated the software to include iOS support. Perhaps more significant, the Cardboard team has announced a new classroom initiative called Expeditions, with software to help kids go on virtual field trips anywhere in the world.
Google Cardboard was announced last year as a cute 20% project, but since that reveal the experiment has grown into its own platform with support for hundreds of apps. With the new hardware update, Google has changed the magnetic button to a more universally accepted Cardboard button, and the increased screen size support means just about everything will be able to fit in these new boxes (sorry Galaxy Mega users).Today's update to the Cardboard SDK adds iOS developer support as well, which means we'll see apps on the App Store and the Play Store that natively support this platform.
Google Expeditions will be released as a full classroom experience, including VR boxes with phones for students and a tablet with special software onboard for teachers to make the immersive experience part of the lesson. Teachers will be able to sign up for Expesitions later this year, and Google has plans for huge demo field trips with the help of the Planetary Society and Palace of Versailles by the time Expeditions have launched.