Google Cardboard // Budget Virtual Reality

Can’t afford a virtual reality headset?  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered…

Our impatience got the better of us and we’re happy about it.  Yesterday the piece of cardboard we paid £10 for arrived from Amazon.  This was no ordinary piece of cardboard, this piece of cardboard has the power to transport us somewhere else.

We spent the first few minutes after opening Amazon’s excessive packaging fumbling to assemble our first Google Cardboard.  We then read the very simple instructions and were ready to go.

“the experience is worth the strong discomfort of the cardboard being crushed into your eyes”

Google Cardboard, which sounds like an oxymoron, is a nifty little piece of tech-infused cardboard that you assemble into a makeshift virtual reality headset with the help of your smartphone.  Why did I buy it?  Well at the time of writing, unless you’re a developer, there’s no chance to get your hands on a proper virtual reality headset.  Having seen endless videos of the older generation literally falling off their chair after trying it and hearing VR being hailed as ‘the next big thing’ we had to try the closest thing to it.

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In the upcoming months there are set to be a range of high-end VR machines on the way. Between Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive it’s going to be a stressful purchase, similar to the ordeal of committing to buy a future-proof television.  These headsets are set to be priced around £500-£700, and that’s before you’ve considered the fact you need a high end gaming PC to plug it in to; so all-in-all let’s say it’s £2000 to enter the virtual world.  Comparably – £10 for a similar, albeit budget, experience feels like a bargain.

“Other people in the room snigger at the sight of him, but that doesn’t matter anymore, he’s gliding over Chicago”

Sat at his desk, Ed activates the Google Cardboard Demo, slots his phone in to the unassuming box, and heads in.  The layers of cardboard grate down his face until he’s greeted by a low poly 3d world.  The app uses the gyro in your phone to track where you’re looking.  Ed swings in his chair to look behind him, he looks insane but to him there appear a few floating icons in his low-poly-land.  Other people in the room snigger at the sight of him, that doesn’t matter anymore, he’s gliding over Chicago.

The quality is very much limited to your screen’s display, so pixels are visible but that doesn’t matter, and the experience is worth the strong discomfort of the cardboard being crushed into your eyes.  Before long, the once pitying others in the room are green with envy and are hankering to have a go.  It’s like being the only guy with weed a party…

Get your own Google Cardboard!

 

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