McDonalds have announced a new Virtual Reality headset that can be constructed from your cardboard Happy Meal box with the accompaniment of a smartphone.
The foldable cardboard headset is currently only available in Sweden, and was developed for the annual winter holiday of Sportlov along with their own virtual reality skiing game for Android entitled “Slope Stars”.
“To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Happy Meal in Sweden, McDonald’s Sweden has developed Happy Goggles. By re-folding the Happy Meal box, customers can create a pair of Virtual-Reality glasses which makes it possible to experience Virtual Reality with a smartphone” states McDonalds Sweden in a new press release.
“New generations are growing up in a in a world where smartphones and tablets are a part of our ordinary life. The VR goggles open the door to virtual worlds, which of course is very exciting. This step might come more natural for children than for adults. It creates an opportunity for adults to learn from the children’s knowledge and experience. The gaming can also be a good, joint activity that makes it easier to hang out – on equal terms, says Karl Eder and Fadi Lahdo, licensed psychologists.
The Happy Meal is one of the world’s most iconic boxes. Ever since the Happy Meal came to Sweden in 1986, it has been a natural choice for families with children visiting McDonald’s. McDonald’s Sweden is first in the world to develop the Happy Meal box into Virtual Reality goggles and the idea came about, quite simply, by folding the usual Happy Meal box in a new way. The result, with the addition of a pair of lenses, turned into the VR Happy Goggles. When combined with a smartphone, the Happy Goggles lower the threshold so that everybody can afford to experience VR.”
Cardboard virtual reality goggles may sound strange, but they’ve become increasingly popular as a cheaper alternative to larger and more mainstream kits such as the Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive, with Google acting as pioneer of the cardboard alternatives with their Google Cardboard project.
McDonalds is not the first fast food chain to introduce a novelty cardboard technology accessory, with Pizza Hut testing out a pizza box projector in June last year which allowed customers from Hong Kong branches of the popular pizza chain to create a movie projector using just the pizza box, an included lens, and their smartphones.
3,500 of the special Happy Meal boxes will be given out in Sweden at the beginning of March during the winter break, but it is hinted that this novelty may reach other countries soon with the official website teasing:
“Right now this initiative is being tested in Sweden – yes Sweden. We hope to be able to roll it out in your country soon”.
Charlie Nash is a contributor to Breitbart Tech and former editor of the Squid Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington.