Google Cardboard Is One of the Most Exciting Things from I/O

It may seem that everything related to the search giant contains the latest technological advancements, but Google Cardboard is really just what its name says. Still, it works well as a virtual reality headset, at a fraction of the price of its competitors.

It only takes 45 seconds to assemble Google Cardboard, so the “device” is not even that difficult to set up. Since Sony has its Morpheus headset and Facebook now owns Oculus VR, it was about time Google got involved in virtual reality, as well. Google Cardboard, in tandem with your smartphone, can provide a virtual reality experience at a better resolution than the first Oculus Rift. Of course, that depends on how capable your smartphone is, but given that some devices sport quadHD displays nowadays, seeing things clearly through the cardboard contraption shouldn’t be that difficult.

Obviously, a companion Cardboard app is needed for creating the virtual reality environment. Firing up the app is apparently easier to do if a NFC tag is used. Besides the tag, the Google Carboard VR kit also includes:

  • Precut cardboard sheet
  • Lenses
  • Magnet
  • Velcro
  • Rubber band

Not even 24 hours have passed since Google announced the Cardboard VR kit at its I/O conference and Dodocase already started selling it on its website for $20. Another version costing $45, made from possibly 3D printed materials, should be available in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Don’t expect Google Cardboard to have a huge impact, though. People are skeptic about it and claim that Google hasn’t really done anything revolutionary. While that might be true, people still have to admit that the product is highly functional. I’m not saying that this is a never-seen-before product, but I do appreciate the search giant’s attempt to make the latest technologies more affordable.

Also, you should expect to see some DIY guides on how to make these on Instructables, even though building such a kit is quite intuitive. In other words, if you have the necessary materials and a bit of a spare time, and don’t want to spend $20 on an official kit, you could always build the kit at home.

For the time being, the Google Cardboard VR kit only works with the search giant’s own apps, but if software developers will express their interest, there will definitely be a broader compatibility in the future.

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