Google Cardboard is Google’s initiative to get you interested in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality but at a low cost and fun experience, but What it is Cardboard, how to use it and why to use it? In this guide, we will discuss all that a newbie wants to know about Google Cardboard.
The Google platform was created by two Google engineers in the time off to innovate, where Google encourages its employees to spend 20% of their time on projects that interest them, Gmail and Google news are examples of this.
Google provided a platform for people to enjoy VR experience on their own Android and Apple Devices with a cost of under 10$! It is assembled with very few parts that hardly cost anything, it consists of a cardboard with precise shape, 45 mm focal length lenses, magnets or a capacitive tape and optional rubber band to keep it on your face and a NFC tag for communication. You can buy them from Amazon for as low as six dollars and you could also buy some fancy ones that look good and feel good for around 40 dollars.
How Does Cardboard Works
The cardboard works with your phone’s sensors to create a 3D image that involves you in a world of your own, after you get the viewer you insert your phone in its place and the cardboard applications will split your screens image into two, one for each eye and also applies a distortion to each image to counter the distortion of the lenses, this will result in a stereoscopic 3D image with a wide field of view.
This process uses your phones gyroscope that reads when you rotate your head and renders the image from the same perspective which allows you to look around the image giving you that real world feeling.
Applications for the Google Cardboard
We can’t list all of the applications for it as there are numerous but we are going to list the ones widely used.
Cardboard is the first application you should install once you get your viewer, it is a google app that lets you launch your VR Experiences, it helps you discover new applications and set up your viewer, it also includes some demos, courtesy of Google. It includes Tour Guide that lets you visit Versailles, Earth that lets you fly where you want on Google Earth and Exhibit which lets you examine cultural artifacts in every angle. You can download it from here.
The cardboard camera allows you to use your phone to capture 3D images so near objects will look near and far objects will look far. Just as you see them, relive your precious moments in virtual reality, hear them just as they sounded, look around and see everything you originally saw in high definition. Show your family how that mountain top look! To use the application install and open it then press on the record button, make sure to move it around in a spherical manner to capture all angles.You can download this application to your android phone from the Google Playstore here
Yes your regular Youtube application can be used for this as well, all you need to do is find a cardboard supported video, a lot of new music videos, TED videos and others are currently picking up support for it, and play it, once you play press on the three dots (settings) and press on Cardboard and insert your phone in the Cardboard and enjoy the experience! You can also search Youtube for 360 videos, these are videos that will have content in every degree you look, they assure you the Virtual Reality view.
Note: 360 video function is currently just supported by android devices.
If you do not have the Youtube application, download it here.
VR Player Free
This application can be used to view your regular 2D and 3D videos and photos through your Google cardboard, you can also shell out a few dollars and buy VR Player Pro, this enables you to watch live 360 degree events, connect game controllers to your phone and activate voice commands. You can download the Free version here and buy the pro one here.
Now that we listed our top applications, we urge you to search for more applications, you can always find different games and applications for the Cardboard viewer on the playstore like Titans of Space, Mercedes VR and many others , please tell us in the comments on what application you found and truly enjoyed!