Google Cardboard, or ‘Oculus Thrift’ as it’s been dubbed, is a fun little concept that gives people quick and easy access to a VR type experience without spending much money at all, in fact the most expensive component is something you likely already own: an Android smartphone.
Google Cardboard itself is a downloadable app for you mobile. The idea being your phone acts as the screen to your virtual world. To make the most of the app you’ll need a headset, and that’s where this low cost kit comes in.
As the name suggests, this is made from cardboard and comes flat packed. Assembly can be a little tricky at first, but handily the Google Cardboard app starts with a how too video which means you’ll have it up and running very quickly.
The mobile, in this case an LG G3, sits on a NFC pad, which is used to launch the Cardboard app, and is held securely in place when the back of the goggles are closed up and secured with Velcro.
There are a couple of lens in the headset and a small switch to the side. A quick tutorial and you’re up and running. The app has a number of different modes that give you a taste of what could be possible with the full VR systems when they’re eventually launched.
As well as YouTube, Google Earth and Street View there is a very cool little animation to watch and a VR tour to take. Further apps are available via the Google play store (e.g. Virtual Cinema Pro, Dive City Rollercoster) and these can be quickly found by searching for “google cardboard” or “virtual reality”. This is very much a novelty item, one you’ll wow your friends and family with and will get lots of enjoyment out of.
The cardboard kit works really well, is easy to setup and offers a taste of a VR experience. And at this time of year it would make for a great little stocking filler for some family fun over the holidays.
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