Cardboard Accessories & Products that Complement Technology

Everything around us is exciting right now and nobody is talking about it.

Boxes are transforming.

Cardboard is IN.

Cardboard for your gadgets, cardboard for crafts, cardboard for some fun, cardboard for, uhh, boxes.

You may remember cardboard primarily from it’s staring role with General Mills cereal products and all of those Amazon boxes that you have stacked up next to your trash can, but the point of the matter is, companies are doing some cool stuff with cardboard.

Cardboard is a low-cost material that helps companies produce something quickly, make it more accessible, and less of a risk financially if it fails. Here, we’re going to talk primarily about how cardboard is used to support technology, but there are innovators out there using cardboard to rethink some really cool things. For instance, 1/3 of festival attendees leave their tents after the festival is over. Because of the amount of waste that it creates, one individual set out to improve tents. By using cardboard, he’s able to minimize the amount of waste after these festivals since they’re able to be recycled and they’re a fraction of the cost of traditional tents.

Since I’m a millennial, I’m going to cite Google for making cardboard cool first with their VR headset Google Cardboard.

It was one of the first steps into converting a device you already own into a secondary use, in this case, that’s VR. Since this product, there have been a series of other cardboard and plastic VR options out there. Surprisingly, they’re not priced too far apart. That’s some good profit on a low-cost item.

In reality, one of the first companies to use cardboard to complement technology was in 2012 when IKEA made a cardboard digital camera.

Though they may have been a bit late on the digital camera trend, I’m sure a few people got on board. I know I would have just for the novelty of it.

Since then, we’ve seen a lot more cardboard around the world of retail. Portable cardboard projectors that you drop your phone into, a cardboard standing desk, cardboard playsets for kids, cardboard pet toys, etc. Most recently, Nintendo threw their hat into the center of the cardboard ring with their game accessory sets called Labo.

In short, Labo are sets of cardboard accessories for the Nintendo Switch that come as DIY kits that consumers build and customize to their preference. So, if you tend to play games where you fish, now you can have a fishing rod. If you like to play games that feature the piano, now you have a small piano. If you like to dress up as a robot and be a robot, well, there’s robot parts for that. All you have to do is drop the system’s controller’s into a certain slot and away you go.

I’ve observed some mixed reviews on the product that range from people annoyed at their 70ish dollar price points to others who think it’s an exciting new addition to their video game arsenal. I think it truly highlights Nintendo’s ability to take video game entertainment and make it relatable to the whole family which has been their mission for years.

Whether you love these products or hate them, I don’t think they’ll be going away anytime soon. It’s amazing what can be done with a recyclable low-cost material. If anything, these cardboard products and accessories change the way you think about a box.

How are you seeing cardboard being used in your field of work? Is it a practical application or more of a novelty? Let us know!


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