If you are one of the 500,000 plus people who have already have purchased a Google Cardboard, then you likely have looked at the plain, brown exterior with both bemusement and bore. One of the problems with cardboard is also one of the things that makes it charming, it’s simplistic uniformity. But still, I have looked at my cardboard, wishing that it could have some sweet custom design on it (yet lacking the artistic abilities to translate that to the cardboard myself).
DODOcase has announced the launch of a new custom cardboard design site to go along with a new version of the VR viewer. The customization site will let users upload their own graphics to go on the front of their pop-up viewer.
The new pop-up viewer, promises one of the fastest assembly times of any cardboard yet, at under 30-seconds. The viewer also easily disassembles into a compact form that is easy to transport. The viewer also comes with a programmable NFC chip, which is consistent with the company’s recent DIYVR movement.
One of the markets for these new customizable cases will surely be developers and marketers. We have already seen VR take off as a marketing tool with many different brands developing experiences, both for the Oculus and for the Cardboard. As these experiences become more and more common, the demand for branded versions of the cheap, easily transportable cardboard cases will surely increase. Developers will also benefit from this as well as it will help them to better market their experiences, especially at events, like UPLOAD or SVVR. Having spent some time at Sundance, the Cardboard is ever present, and isn’t going away any times soon. Brands and films alike are going to leap at the opportunity to easily create customized Cardboards to share with their eager fan bases.
Personally, I love that they opened it up for individual purchases as well, as opposed to going t-shirt style with batch ordering only. I fully expect to see tradeshows this year to be filled with booths giving away branded cardboard swag. Or real estate agents passing out branded cardboards to prospective clients and showing them new home options. The Cardboard may have started out as a 20% project, but it has blossomed into an important part of the future of VR. Is it the highest quality experience available? No. But it is a cheap and accessible entry point for your average Joe consumer, who gets his or her first taste before getting hooked. Being able to customize it just makes it all the sweeter.