Watching the rapid evolution of VR technology in recent years has been pretty fascinating. Both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are now available for preorder, but as we've pointed out before, Google has shipped millions of Google Cardboard viewers. While the Cardboard experience is (obviously) nowhere near as good as what the Rift or Vive can offer, the accessibility is comparatively totally off the charts. Most people already have a smartphone capable of running Cardboard VR games and apps, they're just missing the actual set of plastic lenses and the folded up cardboard to bring the whole experience together. Surprisingly enough, that's where McDonalds comes in.

McDonalds locations in Sweden are kicking off a promotion called Happy Goggles. As the above video shows, the iconic red cardboard Happy Meal boxes are going to come packed with the lens kit and clever perforations in the box itself to carefully punch out and fold up your own Google Cardboard-like VR headset. The Happy Googles site mentions this is being tested in Sweden, but they hope to roll out the promotion to other countries soon.

It's crazy to think that it could be promotions like this that take virtual reality mainstream. No one is ever going to be able to argue that a greasy folded up McDonalds box is going to rival the experience of the Vive or Rift, but consumers have shown time and time again that price and accessibility are king when it comes to adopting new technology. It's difficult to think that many "mainstream" consumers are going to gravitate towards a $600-$800 headset they need to pay with a $1,500+ PC over using a smartphone they already have and a cardboard setup they got for free through a promotion like this.


I guess you could argue that these viewers could be a gateway setup to consumers investing heavily into "real" VR, but it feels like even then the next logical step seems to be a bit more robust mobile device headset like the Galaxy Gear or many other higher quality plastic Google Cardboard-like setups. Either way, it's pretty insane to think back to the basic prized included in Happy Meals when I was a kid to today, where you get a pair of VR goggles instead.

The future is weird.

[via AdWeek]

  • imdakine1

    Wonder why they started the promotion in Sweden and not in the US --- home if the hamburger! Haha... Let's hope they move it from Sweden across the world. Interesting idea!

    • Tallgeese

      I could see Amazon doing this...

  • curtisrshideler

    McD's should also include a code for a self-promoted app so everyone who gets this and has a device can use it.

    • Eli Hodapp

      There's a game you're supposed to play with this but it doesn't seem like it's launched yet. I'm sure the boxes include something about this.

  • nicoper

    Well, I haven't been to McDonalds in 5 years or so, but maybe I have to go there now...

    • Tallgeese

      Swedish McDonald's is a call and reserve your seat table-service and "yes, thank you, I'll have the Maestro classic" establishment. American McDonalds is a recently abandoned warzone where people bring in gallon jugs to use the soda the machine and run out the door before management catches them. If you live here, don't go.

      • nicoper

        Well, suddenly American McDonalds sounds way more fun than the swedish one, for some reason. However, I think I prefer not to eat their so-called hamburgers. Perhaps one can just buy the damn box instead of the whole meal? Why couldn't IKEA have this promotion instead? Lol. Or just anyone except McDonalds, really.

  • Showmelater

    Fräckt 😁

  • Adams Immersive

    Useless gimmick. I used to put my head in a Happy Meal box for hours, with no need for extra incentive.

    Still, cheap VR is awesome!

    • Tallgeese


    • Stormourner of the Nature

      even Pizza Hut made a projector box XD

  • Modjular

    This sounds like the start of some dystopian novel

    • Tallgeese

      Doesn't everything coming out of Sweden? Ikea would make for a good zombie defensive building, although Romero and I'd pick any giant shopping structure really...

      • staraffinity

        Everyone/everything is glooooomy here in Sweden, yes. Totally.

      • Tallgeese

        I KNEW IT!!!

      • Tallgeese

        Roooooooooooooooom for one mooooore!?

      • staraffinity


    • nini

      Or a terrible Russian reversal parody.


    Now i most go to McDonalds

  • staraffinity

    Will they offer VR views from the slaughterhouse so the kids see what their ”food” has been through?

    • Stetch

      VR slaughter. That would man them up.

    • Tallgeese

      Haha, an interesting concept especially for anon and PETA hacktivists to consider. I heard you guys don't have the same literally ----ty caged animal farms that we do, so hopefully at the very least there's that.

      • staraffinity

        Yes, we supposedly breed and kill animals in a more ”humane” way here than in many other countries. If it now can be considered possible to kill something in a humane way. 😐

  • Spudboy

    They way my kids eat, that box would be disgusting.