Want to own a virtual reality (VR) headset but can’t afford the price tag of the existing hardware?
Few years ago in 2009, this guy came up with his own makeshift VR headset for his phone. What he had in the end might have made him look ridiculous, but fast forward now to 2014, we are doing the exact same thing.
During the annual Google I/O conference few days ago, instead of the usual smartphones, tablets, and other fancy gadgets that the conference participants receive from major developers, Google revealed an odd-looking cardboard package.
With simple materials such as cardboard, magnets, Velcro, and lenses, a low-cost Do-It-Yourself VR is created. You can control your screen with a magnetic button on the outside of the headset. By downloading the Cardboard app, which allows you to enjoy watching YouTube, you can virtually wander on Google Street View or virtually scale Mount Everest with Google Earth. There, you can experience virtual reality in your own smartphone device in a simple, fun and inexpensive way.
Also read: Google Glass in Singapore: First Impression
“Virtual Reality has made exciting progress over the past several years. However, developing for VR still requires expensive, specialised hardware,” said Google.
Things are looking interesting in the virtual reality space lately. Facebook recently bought Oculus Rift VR Headset for $2 billion. Sony probably spent millions of dollars on their proprietary VR Headset, Project Morpheus this year.
This is probably what Google would say, “Check this out. A cheap and disposable cardboard material that can turn your smartphone device into VR headset.”
Bizarre, as it seems, it is also kind of brilliant – you don’t have to burn a hole in your wallet just to own a sophisticated VR headset. You make one on your own instead. That’s the whole idea of a Google Cardboard project – to make virtual reality affordable and available for everyone. Forget futuristic Google Glass. Grab your tools, and Google’s Cardboard toolkit and kickstart your own virtual journey now! You can also check out their Google plus page to see cardboard creations of other fellow inventors.