What started out as a humble project with a small team of employees, doing the best they can in their spare time, as of now, is a full time development project of a technology product that has been shipped to approximately 500,000 customers worldwide. Yes! We are talking about the ‘Google Cardboard’, a brave and unconventional product that has already made an impact in the world of Virtual Reality Entertainment.
Google CardBoard: The Cheap Alternative
When Google unveiled their Cardboard VR device earlier this year, like many people, we too found it hard to take it seriously. After all, we are talking about a contraption that resembles more to a cardboard origami. Our first experience with the device was all it took to change our perception and make it clear that this is more than just a Do-It-Yourself toy. The combination of Velcro strips, plastic lenses and magnets work in perfect harmony with the smartphone and brings in an experience that is no less than amazing. The device doesn’t attach to your head, like the Occulus Rift, so you will need to hold it in place with your hands. It is more of an extremely low-cost way for developers and tech enthusiasts at large to try out the technology for themselves.
Google CardBoard: The App Gallary
Recently, Google has also announced numerous Google Cardboard-compatible apps on Google Play. There is now, even a section, dedicated exclusively to Cardboard compatible apps in the play store. Even though, most of the apps are in test stages, there are few that stand out- like Proton Pulse 3D, Tilt brush 3D app that lets you paint animations just by steering your head. You can also explore Google Earth 3D, watch YouTube videos that feel more like watching them on a gigantic screen at the theater. The rollercoaster apps, however, inspite of their potential of being exhilarating turns out to be quite a disappointment, as none of them provide with half the thrill that one would come to expect.
Google CardBoard: The SDK
Google has introduced Cardboard SDKs for both Android and Unity platforms, which means that it would allow practically anyone to create and modify their own VR experience. It also means that we can expect tons of new apps, games and other cool features. And the fun doesn’t stop there, oh no! The apps created would not be exclusive to google’s VR system but would also work for other VR headsets, with just the right amount of tweaking.
Google CardBoard: The 3rd Parties Involved
Google basically outsourced the making of the cardboard cases. So much was the product’s demand, small businesses like ‘I am Cardboard’ and ‘Unofficial’ cardboard was formed just to make and sell those. Companies like DODOcase and Knoxlass are already selling their own versions of Google Cardboard. Needless to say, their main objective is to simply the DIY process and provide a better and more comfortable approach to how the smartphone is held in the case and how comfortable your experience is with the cardboard headset.
Why we love Google CardBoard and You Should To!
One nifty feature of the Google Cardboard that took us by quite a surprise is the button like contraption on the left temple of the device. Put in some magnets and a metal ring and voila! you have yourself a fully functional button that feels like a toy, but is remarkably effective. You can navigate through menus and select items just by swiping down, and the ring jolts right back to its default position once you release it. It might feel a lot like using a toy, but trust us! This is a toy that can give you a very immersive VR experience and at a dirt cheap price. The Google Cardboard has given us a taste of what to expect in the world of VR and with Google now hiring to work on full-time projects, the future does indeed seem bright for VR technology.
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