For a long time, many people have been viewing the virtual reality programmes as components that are very expensive and even something impossible in the current World. Virtual reality headsets have always been seen to be very high tech, without the ability of being handled by just mere persons with limited information technology prowess. Virtual reality has also with time gained the mythic characteristic of being impractical. All of these have however come to change drastically since two engineers from Google- David Coz and Damien Henry created the awesome Google cardboard Virtual reality (VR) at the Google Institute in Paris, which saw its release in the year 2014 for both the android and iPhone users i.e. Google cardboard iPhone and Google cardboard android. The devise has since been acquired by over 10 million viewers through shipment and over 160 million in downloads. This article strives to provide you with what you need to know about the Google cardboard VR headset, how it works, how you can get it and the benefits it has in place for you over other VR sets.
You can check similar VR headset: Xiaomi MI VR Play Review
But what exactly is this Google cardboard VR headset?
In the simplest of terms, this is just a design which can be bought by you from the manufacturer of can be used to build your own headset for an amazing experience. Like the word suggests, It is just a cardboard cut into a specific design but fitted with a focal distance lenses of 40mm ,Velcro and magnets put together in pace with a rubber band, making you be able to set your phone in it and look through ,turning your apple and android phones into a virtual reality headset. It is a simple set up, which in combination with compatible apps interacts with your headset’s screens to gain a real- time world experience with 3D effect.
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What makes Google Cardboard?
The Google cardboard VR headset is made of the following:
- A software development kit- which is used to develop the cardboard applications for Java, iOS and Android users in the Google Play store and the App Store.
- A piece of cardboard cut into a very precise shape.
- 40-45 mm distance focal lenses that enables you be able to view things from a distance
- A magnet or a capacitive tape which acts as the phone’s input button when the phone is fit into the cardboard because then the user cannot be able to touch the phone’s screen.
- A hook and loop fastener
- An optional near-field communication chip that allows the communication between the smartphone and the cardboard lenses to be brought nearer to about 1.6 inches.
- A rubber band which holds all the above together within the cardboard.
How does it work?
Once all the components have been set together, all you need to do is to insert your phone into the back of the cardboard and hold it together with the fastener. The compatible app (which can be automatically launched by the NFC chip) thus splits the image to be viewed into two parts-obviously for your two eyes- and prevents image distortion that might be caused by the lenses, therefore giving the 3D view of your virtual reality content. You can then look through and even turn around while at it and the images you view will be to actually react to your real position in place. You may be wondering how you will be able to make an input when the phone is in the devise. We, you won’t be able to. But however, this is where the magnet becomes of help to you. It is able to use the magnetometer in your phone to sense any movement and you removing it thus mean that you have touched the screen. Remember, the magnet will now serve as your button for the phone- simply amazing!
How then can you get your amazing Google Cardboard VR headset?
The first option would be to buy it directly from the manufacturer- Google, or to buy from online stores like Amazon. The second option is interesting and good for you if you want to do some innovation and create something amazing for yourself. It is to create your own Cardboard. Why not? Google has made it easier for you and the software design is available for phone users for free. You just need to download it. The cardboard can be cut by you into the specific shape. Perhaps you are imagining how silly it would be to put your phone into a brown board folded together and then raising it to your face huh? Believe me it’s not silly, try watching through that cardboard or see someone do it and you will gain a magical experience far from your expectations.
What are the benefits and advantages of the Google Cardboard?
My! Oh my! There are quite a number of merits that come with the amazing Google cardboard VR headset. They are
- The devise is free in design. Who makes software free for you other than Google? Really, who? While other companies sell it for as low as $10, this one from Google is just by the click of a button and you have it! Think of it. The whole headset from other manufacturers will cost you about $99 and believe the Google Cardboard is here for free if you make it yourself and as low as $20 if you choose to buy. It is really low cost.
- No head strap is required.
- It is very light in weight and you can move with it everywhere.
- Uses readily available material that can easily be sourced
- Low entry barrier into the market which means it can be experienced by everyone.
- Ease of set up and use-just folding a cardboard and putting your phone in it sounds really easy.
- It is open source and thus there is a lot of potential to introduce much more games with it
It is said there can’t be a merit without a demerit. Well, the demerits of the Google cardboard are not much. One is that it is of low resolution since they are fully dependent on the resolution of your phone. Since most phones are not designed for VR content, I guess you have no option here. The resolution can only be as good as that of your phone! Secondly, the Google cardboard VR headset lacks content despite being open source. With current standings, it lacks applications and games for it.
You may like to go for HTC vive VR headset review
The bottom line is that the Google cardboard VR headset has changed how viewing of virtual reality content happens in the World, giving it a much better view with 3D effect, accessible, low cost and with wider reach. You will definitely not get this anywhere. Yes, the resolution is poor and there is lack of content, but again what we are in need of right now is to experience the virtual reality world and not play games on it at the moment. Therefore, the Google cardboard just serves its purpose well enough for now. Grab one for yourself from Google or create one and it will surely change your viewing experience. Life will never be the same for you after you try to use this amazing device from Google. Thank you very much dear reader for taking your time with me on this amazing experience. I wish to give you more insights into even more amazing apps and devises for you.