The innovation that doesn’t bring expansive immersive worlds to virtual reality gaming, but brings VR gaming to consumers faster than other solutions is certainly Google Cardboard.
This kit lets users to put their Android device into slot on cardboard viewer, and just look through special lenses in order to interact with Google services like VR headset.
Cardboard originally was designed by David Coz and Damien Henry, working for Google in Paris, and that was early version of headset that further evolve to a experimental software development kit for VR experiences.
The kit comes flat-packed with simple instructions. Its made of thin and firm cardboard and on eye holes have convex plastic lenses. At the top of the kit is velcro that is peeled back to insert smartphone. After inserting smartphone it enough just to start downloaded application an enjoy. The way this is working is very simple-the illusion of three dimensions is created by two images viewed through a special magnifier.
When the hardware is ready it’s necessary to download applications compatible with VR set. One of those app is Google Cardboard meant to promote what the VR technology can do. In Google Cardboard app could be found seven demos.
Google Cardboard shows the concept of VR
Earth is demo based on Google Earth and with this application its possible to to fly around a city, or mountainside. The device is navigated with moving head, to go up – look up, to get down – look down. If player wants to stop he, should press the magnetic button.
Exhibit is a set of images that show 3D-modeled historic masks.
Photo Sphere gives consumer chance to get a real 360-degree view of pictures taken by smartphone.
Street Vue is demo that takes user to the streets of Paris with possibility to stop anywhere along the way to enjoy surroundings.
Tour Guide gives you a chance to visit the Palace of Versailles during virtual visiting Paris. It’s actually going trough panoramas of various rooms and the grounds outside.
Windy Day tells a nice story as a cartoon. It’s created by Jan Pinkava, the co-director of Pixar’s Ratatouille.
YouTube gives you the opportunity to choose a video from a 3D wall and watch it on a VR screen.
Some of the other demos created to be used with google Cardboard are:
Halls of Fear VR Demo This is easy to play, effective game in which player goes through dark, spooky tunnels. Main goal is to search cubes.
Shadowgun VR is just a sample level of the first-person shooter Shadowgun.
Space Terror VR is a game that basically looks like Halls of Fear, but with a space-station setting and really scary moments.
Tuscany Dive takes user to a seaside villa. This demo is a great showcase for VR.
VR Cinema for Cardboard is a simple app that lets lets user to watch MP4 videos stored on phone or Dropbox.
Cardboard is interesting way to point out concept of VR but it also shows that decent VR doesn’t always require expensive headset.
In Spite Cardbox is Google product, it’ not exclusively for Android devices. There are few iOS applications compatible with Cardboard.