Why Google's Cardboard scored Cannes Grand Prix award

Why Google's Cardboard Scored Cannes Grand Prix Award

When you see someone with over-sized goggles on, swatting at unseen enemies, there's a good chance that person is experiencing a virtual reality.

VR has become more common and more popular in the past couple years, thanks in part to Google and its Cardboard project.

So it's no surprise that Cardboard took home the Grand Prix award for the mobile category at this year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The cardboard contraption debuted at Google's 2014 I/O conference. And by early December that same year, the company shipped more than 500,000 of the phone-based VR gadgets.

And today third-party manufacturers have made and sold more than 1 million VR viewers — made out of cardboard and other (less literal) materials.

Cardboard isn't the only VR option on the market but it is by far the least expensive to buy or make, which won Google big points during the festival's judging.

After speaking with the festival's mobile jury president Ad Age wrote, "Cardboard won because it enabled a type of technology that was low-cost and widely available ... Cardboard gave 'mobile new possibilities to really change behavior and have a huge impact on consumer life.'"

And it's going to keep having an impact, especially after this year's Google I/O announcement.

"We want to put professional, previously impossible tools in the hands of any creator who's motivated ... Today we'd like to preview something that we call Jump," said Google Vice President of Product Management Clay Bavor.

Google Jump takes video shot with this 360-degree camera rig and combines the footage into one video. The result is a stereoscopic VR experience that can be viewed using Cardboard.

That camera rack isn't nearly as inexpensive as the Carboard setup. But by their powers combined VR will continue to be accessible to the masses at a fairly affordable price.

See more virtual reality headsets here:

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Why Google's Cardboard scored Cannes Grand Prix award
The Oculus VR Inc. Rift headset is displayed for a photograph during the 'Step Into The Rift' event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, June 11, 2015. Facebook Inc.'s Oculus virtual-reality headsets will work with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 10 and use the software maker's wireless Xbox game controller. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16: Oculus emplyoee Patrick Hercamp (R) helps set up the virtual reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift CV1 on John Peters (L) at the Annual Gaming Industry Conference E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Convention Center will be hosting the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) which focuses on gaming systems and interactive entertainment, featuring introductions to new products and technologies. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16: Game enthusiast, Jacob Mix, tests out the virtual reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift CV1 at the Annual Gaming Industry Conference E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles Convention Center will be hosting the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) which focuses on gaming systems and interactive entertainment, featuring introductions to new products and technologies. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 18: A Rift VR headset is on display at the Oculus VR booth during E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo at Los Angeles Convention Center on June 18, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 18: A Rift VR headset is on display at the Oculus VR booth during E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo at Los Angeles Convention Center on June 18, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Singer-songwriter Usher tries Oculus Rift at the Pencils Of Promise Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on October 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Singer-songwriter Usher tries Oculus Rift at the Pencils of Promise gala at Cipriani Wall Street on October 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Westfield introduces world first Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets ahead of 'Future Fashion' an immersive pop-up experience at Westfield London on March 12, 2015 in London, England. Future Fashion will take place at Westfield London from 27-29 March and Westfield Stratford City from 2-4 April. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Westfield)
BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 23: BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 23: A video gaming fan play games with a Oculus Rift Head-Mounted Display at the Gamefest during the International Games Week Berlin trade fair on April 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The International Games Week Berlin highlights trends in video gaming but also brings together industry professionals from April 21-26 at events across the city. (Photo by Axel Schmidt/Getty Images) (Photo by Axel Schmidt/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08: The Oculus VR Crescent Bay Headset prototype is displayed at the 2015 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The immersive, virtual reality headset is meant to be a consumer version of the Oculus Rift and features 360-degree head tracking and high-quality integrated audio. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 9 and is expected to feature 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
An attendee wears an Oculus Rift HD virtual reality head-mounted display at he plays EVE: Valkyrie, a multiplayer virtual reality dogfighting shooter game, at the Intel booth at the 2014 International CES, January 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO /ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 23: A video gaming fan play games with a Oculus Rift Head-Mounted Display at the Gamefest during the International Games Week Berlin trade fair on April 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The International Games Week Berlin highlights trends in video gaming but also brings together industry professionals from April 21-26 at events across the city. (Photo by Axel Schmidt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Westfield introduces world first Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets ahead of 'Future Fashion' an immersive pop-up experience at Westfield London on March 12, 2015 in London, England. Future Fashion will take place at Westfield London from 27-29 March and Westfield Stratford City from 2-4 April. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Westfield)
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