Google Cardboard VR Inspiring Upcoming Headsets
While the Google Cardboard headset has turned out to be a popular alternative, it is obvious that it is much cheaper from the limited offerings it has, when compared to the Gear VR, which carries a price tag of $99. However, despite the limitations, Google has outlined how the Cardboard headset has provided it with a lot of information that it will utilize in creating new VR headsets.
There have been several rumors that Google intends to create a VR headset that would compete with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which can only work when linked to compatible computers. Clay Bavor, head of Virtual Reality Division in Google, in a recent interview with Popular Science, outlined how the Cardboard VR is influencing the development of the next VR headsets that the company is working on.
Bavor also went on to outline how Google is going to make sure that its forthcoming VR headset retains all the best features of the Cardboard, including the ability to work without a computer. This feature relies on the Cardboard’s ability to provide the viewer with a VR experience once they have placed a smartphone into the device. Compared to the Gear VR, which has better technology and fits better on the head of the user, however, the Cardboard VR experience is noticeably limited. Some of the main limitations of the Cardboard include pixellation, the fact that users can see the individual pixels on the screen even if the smartphone has a good-quality display. They also make people feel nauseous more quickly than the more sophisticated alternatives due to limitations in the technology implemented.
Google, however, recognizes that in spite of these limitations, the beauty of the Cardboard is in the fact that it has been able to make the VR experience popular and available to anyone with a smartphone. As for any future VR headset made by Google, the focus will be on delivering high-quality experience to users, and there have been several rumors that the company has not one but two devices in the works. One of these, purportedly, will be a headset that operates with the aid of a smartphone and the other one would be a standalone VR headset that does not require a computer or a phone.
You can also make a headset to your own specifications/fit by downloading the design files from Google and assemble your shopping list. Your shopping list would contain a sheet of corrugated cardboard, a pair of optical lenses, a couple of magnets, some velcro and a rubber band. Optionally, you can add a commercial NFC (near-field communication) tag. You’ll also be needing a ruler and a decent x-acto knife or box cutter on hand. The total material costs: $2, give or take.
Making Your Own Google Cardboard
The cardboard will be cut into some precise shapes, and then folded, following instructions available online, into a headset that looks like a bit like boxy, thrift-store Oculus Rift. Slide your Android phone into the slot at the back, and you’ve got your very own custom-built VR headset.
You’ll then need to download the Cardboard app to check out the handful of VR demo applications available. If you really want to get into it, you can also download the experimental VR Toolkit, provided by Google to developers in hopes of spurring a whole new category of VR-by-phone apps.
“By making it easy and inexpensive to experiment with VR, we hope to encourage developers to build the next generation of immersive digital experiences and make them available to everyone.” says Google. ”We want everyone to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and inexpensive way.”