Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard VR

Over the years, Virtual Reality has been like a dream to the human race. Facebook bought VR for a large sum of $2m dollars, however, Google opted for something simpler. No one would have expected that we could create our own VR headset from something everyone has at home: a cardboard piece.  Cool right? Thanks to Google, our dreams are fast becoming a reality.

Though the simple cardboard may not sound ‘techy’ the amazing part is its ability to turn your Android phone into a virtual reality headset. Now, let’s check out what this product is capable of.

Google has a company policy which allows employees to work on side projects alongside their everyday duties; the Google Cardboard is one of those projects which happened to be a success. David Coz, the project founder, stated that it was a project he felt like working on, being a big fan of the VR.

He wanted to see if he could create a VR experience in the simplest and cheapest way, hence, the use of cardboard.  At present, hundreds of companies are imitating the idea and developing cheap VR headsets that are compatible with smartphones.

What is a Google Cardboard?

The cardboard is a design, which consists of 40mm focal lenses to give you that VR effect through your Android phone, magnet, capacitive tape, a loop fastener such as Velcro, a rubber band to keep everything in place and a near field communication (NFC).

Google Cardboard works on any smartphone including the Apple iPhone however it works best with a Jelly Bean or a Newer Android phone in order to enjoy the full benefits of the Cardboard app ecosystem. After setting up the Cardboard, users set their phones into it and look through the focal lenses.

Google has also developed apps to make it compatible with your phones and together, you can turn your handset screen into a virtual real-world experience. Once you place your phone into the headset, the NFC will launch your cardboard app automatically. Another ingenious aspect is the magnet on the side, the side magnet is a fantastic feature of the Google Cardboard, Google created this to offer you some control of your handset since you cannot touch the screen of your phone when placed on the Cardboard.

How Do People Use it?

First, you get a Cardboard; you can order one or learn to create your own. After this, you must download the Google Cardboard app from your App Store or Play Store. To set up your cardboard, open the Google Cardboard app and follow the setup instructions listed below.

  • With your phone’s camera, scan the QR code which is your viewer
  • Open the top flap after removing the viewer from the sleeve
  • Remove the side flaps. pull them up and press against the fasteners
  • Then place your phone on the cardboard viewer and look through.

What can you do with it?

The Google Cardboard works virtually with many apps which include video apps, games and many more. The app comes with demos where you can try searching for favorite videos on a massive Youtube screen.

Some games have been built to work in virtual reality to make you feel like you are right in the game while overcoming obstacles for the fun of it. An example of such is Lamper. Another app is called VR Cinema; this app converts an MP4 file into a split screen to give you that 3D effect feeling with any movie.

Note that the Google Cardboard will not turn all apps into a 3D effect, but with the Google Cardboard, it becomes easier for developers to create compatible apps for such impact in the future. However, it can be used for all applications that are developed to be used with VR compatible headsets

Finally, with the development of the Google Cardboard, Google has shown that you don’t need to break the bank before enjoying the cool experience that comes with using a VR headset.  One beautiful thing about the Google Cardboard is that it is easy to get and buying a kit does not cost you more than 20$, all that is required is for you to follow the setup instructions stated above.

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