The New York Times (NYT) recently distributed free Virtual Reality (VR) Google Cardboard headsets to its subscribers. Its time to talk...
To get your own Google Cardboard VR headset. You'll need:
I just love playing with new technologies. I've had a Google Cardboard Viewer (main picture) for a while and its a brilliant introduction to virtual reality.
Its the kind of gadget you take into an office and instantly everyone wants to play with it; that's if you can get it off the kids in the first place.
The VR viewer is literally made from folded cardboard; the VR screen is your smartphone.
According to Gartner's 'Hype Cycle', VR is about to leave the 'Trough of Disillusionment' and enter the 'Slope of Enlightenment' (close to the point where its understood by the general public) but is still 5 to 10 years away before it goes mainstream. Apart from gaming, its still feels like its a technology looking for a use.
So its brilliant when a newspaper decides a VR viewer is cheap enough to be a subscriber give-away along with a custom 3D App.
You can build your own cardboard viewer (instructions above) or you can buy one pre-made and assembled (if, like me, you don't get on with scissors).
Even Britain's Ordnance Survey (the official Government mapping agency) have got in on the VR act. They've built a virtual Ben Nevis (Britain's highest mountain) App (iOS or Android) that you can explore using Google Cardboard.
How does Google Cardboard work?
Essentially, you use your smartphone to display the VR images; they appear as two separate images side by side. You need the cardboard viewer to:
The smartphone detects your movement and orientation and the app translates this to moving or looking around the 3D landscape.
Try it out; its great fun.