Google Updates Cardboard SDKs and Expands Global Reach

Google made two major announcements regarding its virtual reality project, Google Cardboard. First, Google updated the Cardboard SDKs to address the Cardboard developer community's two most frequent requests: drift correction and Unity performance. In addition to the SDK enhancements, Google announced that the cardboard app is now available in 39 languages, in over 100 countries, with developer documentation published in 10 languages.

To achieve drift correction, Google conducted a complete overhaul of the sensor fusion algorithms that integrate the signals from the gyroscope and accelerometer. The overhaul helps reduce drift overall, and specifically on phones that contain low quality sensors. The Cardboard SDK for Unity was updated to support a complete Unity-native distortion pass. Unity performance is improved by the update because major plugin overhead is avoided and Cardboard apps can work with Metal rendering on iOS and multi-threaded rendering on Android. The SDK updates should vastly improve virtual reality experience for all users.

Google Street View was also added to Cardboard. Accordingly, once the latest version of Google Street View is downloaded, Cardboard users can experience an entirely new destination around the world. With the major country and language expansions announced, Google looks to significantly add to the existing Cardboard user base that has already surpassed 15 million. Keep an eye out for more Cardboard updates at the Google Developers Blog.

Be sure to read the next Augmented Reality article: Google Expands WebVR Support to Cardboard


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