Released back in 2014 for the first time, back then like sort of a joke: The Google Cardboard. The Most Low Tech and Low Cost VR Goggles around.
The Cardboard underwent an upgrade in 2015 and is since then the most popular and successful VR Goggles to date. This has for sure (amongst some other things) to do with the price, a Cardboard would set you back not more then a “few bucks” and you can get them virtually everywhere.
Just how popular the Cardboard is can be seen looking at the figures, in Januari 2016 Google announced it had past the 5 million marker, good to know that this figure only covers for the “Original” Cardboard (its basically an open source design) the amount of Cardboards pouring in from, for example, China is staggering.
Lets see what you get when stepping into the world of Cardboard.
The Google Cardboard
The Cardboard is a typical Mobile VR Headset and its name does cover the load, the Cardboard is actually made out of cardboard.
The Cardboard is Lowcost and Lowtech and delivers VR in the most basic form.
It will come to you as a DIY package or already assembled, quality of the Carton and building quality (in a pre-assembled) vary a lot and covers everywhere from shitty to top of the line.
The first experience with a Cardboard will be, yeah, overwhelming acutally.
First of all, you won’t expect a lot when you slide your Smartphone in a Cardboard for the first time, besides that: the Cardboard really works like a charm!
Just go over to the App Store or Play Store, search on “VR”, download something, whatever what and step into Virtual Reality.
After your first Cardboard experience you will soon start to realize that the guys from Google, and for that part developers that created VR content for it, did an amazing job. Proving the fact that you can essentially put all the VR Fundamentals in a cheap and uncomplicated gadget.
If we had to name a disadvantage it would be that the Cardboard is to be held in 1 hand, however, there are tons of headbands etc to solve this. A lot of Cardboard-sets already include them and for sure you will have a rubberband and some hotglue lying around. So basically this can be a quick fix.
The Google Cardboard doesn’t work with controllers, you will control the content by the “Magnetic Slide” which is present (shown in the picture, look at this one before buying and make sure its on there!)
However, there’s a ton of “Cardboard derived” VR Goggles that are being bundled with Bluetooth controllers and/or gamepads, this will in most of the cases be VR goggles built according to the Cardboard principle but are made of plastic.
Yeah well you would have guest it: the Display is on your phone so the quality of VR you will experience will be determined by the quality of exactly that display.
The cardboards packs a FOV of 90°, this is not much but we think its enough for this VR Goggles.
Headtracking and “other tracking” will rely, just like the display, on the hardware that you use. You will want to use a Smartphone and the VR content in the “Cardboard environment” will utilize the on board sensors of your smartphone (accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer) to enable the overall Tracking.
Most of the Smartphones pack a high quality of sensors, this will overall deliver a good latency.
Following the big succes of the Cardboard the developer community jumped on VR bigtime, this is good news because this means that you can, already, get a fair amount of VR experiences in both Google Play Store and App Store.
We won’t get into listing a ton of apps here, we do however publish a monthly “top 5 top picks” on VRmeister so keep your eye open for that.
Specifations en system requirements:
Read your smartphone specs ;-)
Ranging anywhere from Free at your local grocery store to a few bucks