McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes can transform into virtual reality goggles in Sweden

Virtual reality at its very lowest form.

Tech

Published Mar 1, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 3:45 am CDT

Have you ever felt that Happy Meal boxes don’t serve enough of a purpose? Neither have I, but McDonald’s, a staple of Americana and quickly declining fast-food giant, is taking a step into the future with Happy Meal boxes that transform into virtual reality goggles. 

Happy Goggles are greasy cardboard boxes that children can put on their faces for entertainment. The 3,500 boxes are currently being tested in Sweden and will be available in 14 restaurants between March 5 and March 12 costing just over the equivalent of $4.00. McDonald’s is launching an accompanying “Slope Stars” skiing app, a game to make kids feel like they’re slaloming down a slope.

The boxes transform into virtual reality headsets through a series of folds that allows a phone to be slid in front of the included lenses. Download a virtual reality enabled smartphone application and you’re good to go.  

It’s a very similar idea to Google’s $15 cardboard VR headset, except that this one stores food beforehand and comes in cheery red.   

McDonald’s is relying on a few factors for this to pan out. First, that enough children eating Kid’s Meals have smartphones and are able to download apps with their devices. Second, that they are willing to get another up-close whiff of the remnants of food they just consumed. And finally, that parents will let their children look at the bright screen of a radiation-emitting device from point-blank. If all those check out, kids will be 360-degree gaming before the rest of us. 

While this is certainly not new technology, it shows just how accessible virtual reality can be, and how company’s are starting to use it to their advantage. 

I just can’t get rid of the image of this room being filled with 6-year-old children holding Happy Meals up to their face. Creepy.

H/T Adweek | Screengrab via McDonald’s Sverige/Youtube

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*First Published: Mar 1, 2016, 9:31 pm CST