Google Cardboard turns any Android device into a DIY virtual reality headset

Google Cardboard turns any Android device into a DIY virtual reality headset
No, this isn't a late April Fools joke from Google, this is a completely real thing - Google engineers have developed a cardboard viewer that lets you hold your phone to your face and simulate a virtual reality headset. The app and companion viewer are called Google Cardboard; it was borne out of a 20% time project at Google; and, Sundar Pichai showed it off during the Google I/O keynote.

The idea is fairly simple: virtual reality headsets are usually very expensive and difficult to make, but maybe there's a simpler way. Much simpler in fact. The whole setup only requires five items, four of which are very easy to come by. Google has posted the instructions so you can take some cardboard, velcro, magnets, rubber bands, and lenses to make your own VR headset. The lenses are the most difficult part to get, and the whole setup would cost about $50 to build. 

Once you have your headset built, you can download the Cardboard app which will display content split on the phone display so you see it as a single image through the headset. To start out, the app will be able to fly you around in Google Earth, take you on a tour of a famous place like Versailles, study art works from all angles, take a Street Vue trip, look at a photo sphere that you've shot, or experience the Windy Day story. 

Any takers?


FEATURED VIDEO

14 Comments

1. Busyboy unregistered

Now thats Innovation

2. Mark7

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Lol. Really?

8. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

How is it not?

3. Busyboy unregistered

Wait I just realized something...Their's no head strap, so your going to have to hold that box the whole time!? No thanks.. Looks ridiculous too but I do applaud Google for looking for cheaper alternatives!

4. UglyFrank

Posts: 2188; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Surely you could make your own, it's DIY

10. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Yeah because the missing strap is what makes someone with one on look ridiculous.

5. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

IT'S AWESOME OOOO!

6. eldyagustius

Posts: 179; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

OMG that's cool!! Despite the fact that you should always stick it with you head Lol

13. peepalala

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 08, 2014

lol its absolutly damn cool i just buy it from googlecardboard.com and i am loving it .

7. imparanoic

Posts: 88; Member since: Oct 15, 2012

this is a great idea, diy VR set using any phone, all for US$50, even better as a geek's b day present or xmas pressie

9. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

It's good to see new things are being tried, and I hate to say it but, thinking outside the box. I'm sure a company will make one for about $80 soon enough. The first creation is always rough, it will only become more refined as it goes on. It would be cool to see a type of lens that would clip onto google glass, maybe be bluetooth.

11. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

When sundar pichai say that each of the attendee got cardboard, i thought it was a joke.

12. linaresx

Posts: 101; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

Does this come with an official Google "Kick Me" T-shirt or do I have to purchase that separately.

14. KathyHacks

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 25, 2014

I ordered a virtual reality cardboard via ElecFreaks.com only $9.98 and great quality

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.