DIY virtual reality (VR) on Monday just might have officially leaped the ol' Great White. (Monday was February 29, "leap day," after all. Coincidence?)
McDonald's Sweden issued a press release yesterday about a new marketing initiative that will roll out Happy Meal boxes that can be easily converted into Google Cardboard-esque VR viewers at 14 different Mickey D's locations across Sweden, according to RoadToVR.com, starting this weekend.
The concept is simple, and it's meant to expand upon the toys that have graced Happy Meals for decades. Eat the burger, savor the fries, but try not to let all that glorious grease soak through your box — it is your new VR viewer. You just pop out the eye and nose holes, place the "lenses" accordingly, and then insert your smartphone. After you download the first (but not likely the last) game designed specifically for Happy Goggles, dubbed "se upp i backen" – or "watch out on the ski slopes" in English – you're good to go.
McD's Happy Googles could boost VR awareness, accessibility
It's unclear whether or not the game will be available for iOS and Android, but the Happy Goggles video appears to show an unbranded iPhone. The Happy Meal VR viewers will also have to be one size fits all, and they may not work as well for larger, "phablet" devices.
During Mobile World Congress last month, it became undeniably clear that VR is here to stay, and McDonald's move could prove to be influential. If nothing else, Happy Goggles will raise awareness among the Happy Meal set, and its parents, none of who are likely among today's typical VR users.
The company says it's just testing the concept right now but also hopes "to be able to roll it out in your country soon." You can learn more about McDonald's Happy Goggles on its website.