Google patents smartphone packaging that transforms into a VR headset

When Google first released Google Cardboard, the goal was to get virtual reality technology into the hands of a mass audience for an extremely affordable price. Many companies branded their own version of these Cardboard headsets, giving them out en mass or selling them for an extremely low price. Now, Google thinks that it can get the technology into the hands of customers in an even more efficient way: by making it part of smartphone packaging.

Google thinks that getting an inexpensive Cardboard solution into the hands of more customers could potentially help people to see just how interesting virtual reality is, and may work as a gateway into more full-fledged solutions such as their own Daydream View. While other companies such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have done similar packaging transformation tactics in the past, bundling something like this directly into the packaging of a smartphone should help to get the tech to a much wider audience.

The patent was originally filed over a year ago in February of 2016. While the company obviously didn’t include the headset in the packaging of the Google Pixel, it is quite possible that they will opt to put it with their Google Pixel 2 which is set to launch later this year. Including it in last year’s model may have taken away a lot of the excitement from the Google Daydream View headset which they launched alongside the Pixel and was included with many pre-orders of the device.

Do you think the patent is a good idea? Would you be interested in getting a Cardboard headset bundled with your mobile device?

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