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Google open-sources Cardboard SDK to keep it alive

Long before Google introduced Daydream and subsequently left it dead in the water, the company created the Cardboard platform. You can use the carton headsets as an ultra-low-budget entry to VR to this day, and they're compatible with almost any regularly shaped phone on the market. Google has now open-sourced the underlying VR SDK which will allow interested developers to create their own VR experiences on Cardboard viewers and improve and enhance the project as they see fit.

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Google unveils new YI HALO VR camera for their Jump platform

Back in 2015 at I/O, and just after announcing Cardboard, Google rolled out Jump. At the time the hardware that accompanied it was the GoPro Odyssey, a big circular contraption containing 16 GoPro cameras. It was meant to make recording in 360 degrees for VR purposes a bit easier, both logistically and in terms of the tools and software needed. Don't be too surprised if that flew under your radar at the time; there hasn't been much in the way of news from Google about Jump since then (though there was a cool WebVR film announced a few days ago that used it).

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Google expands WebVR to Google Cardboard, adds 12 new WebVR demos to try out

Today, Google took another step forward in its efforts to expand the availability of VR. Back in February, we reported that Chrome 56 added support for WebVR, but it was restricted to those with Daydream-ready phones. Now, the platform has opened to all Android phones compatible with Google Cardboard. Taking advantage of WebVR, you can access a variety of experimental VR experiences through the Chrome web browser on your phone or computer.

To make these VR worlds more easily accessible, Google launched a web page today where developers can showcase their creations. The page, when accessed with your phone or computer, provides a selection of experiences that users can click through to activate.

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FOX Sports VR lets you watch games in the dream house you'll never be able to afford

One of the core principles of video games is that they're aspirational: we beat the invincible bad guy and drive hovercraft race cars in lavish fantasy worlds because we can't ever do it in real life. Video games are now so amazing that they're intersecting with the real world in the form of VR, but our aspirations have softened a bit as we've gotten older - now some of those impossible dreams include "owning a really nice house." FOX Sports VR has embraced the death of the American dream by virtualizing that nice house and letting you watch football in it.

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Google Arts & Culture app gets a dramatic overhaul with Cardboard support

Hey, remember that Google Arts & Culture tool that the company talked about for exactly one day? No? Well now it's back. The hub for all things historically and artistically relevant has been given a fresh coat of paint, so to speak. Both the web portal and the app (which was previously little more than a web wrapper anyway) have been overhauled with a new interface, including a more contextual search bar that allows users to hunt for specific articles or pieces. Check out the difference in the app below:

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[Team Coco FTW] Get a free Google Cardboard courtesy of Conan O'Brien (US only)

So you don't live in Australia and couldn't get a free Cardboard viewer from that Optus giveaway a couple of days ago. Maybe you live in the US — actually our Analytics tell us that a nice majority of you do — and you'd like a chance to get your free VR viewer nonetheless. Maybe you're a fan of Conan O'Brien and maybe you've missed that Cardboard giveaway that he did last year. Now's your chance to pounce on your coveted freebie and grab it.

Team Coco is giving away Google Cardboard VR viewers again this July, although the design is different and less playful than last year's orange haired cute avatar.

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Get a free Google Cardboard headset from Optus in Australia

Troye Sivan is a popular singer, actor, and YouTuber in Australia. Regardless of whether or not you know all his songs and the fact that he played young James Howlett in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there's a techie reason you might be interested in this giveaway that he's doing with Australian carrier Optus.

The operator has partnered with Troye to offer a chance to meet him in real life to some lucky winner, but also to design exclusive Google Cardboard headsets to give away so you can watch his 360 YouTube video of a private soundcheck performance from his latest single "Talk Me Down."

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[Deal Alert] Google Store Deals: $20 Off SHIELD Android TV, $50 Off Nexus 6P, And $5 Off Cardboard [Update]

Google is running a few modest sales in the Google Store for the next few weeks, probably related to Father's Day. You can save some cash if you pick up a SHIELD TV, Nexus 6P, or Cardboard viewer. They aren't huge deals, but a discount is always appreciated.

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VR Party Game Is A Ridiculously Confusing Virtual Reality Experience For Cardboard

What if virtual reality was just reality, with a small asterisk? What if you could strap on your VR headset, regardless of the brand or technology behind it, and see the same thing that's in front of you... but mirrored? Or upside down? Or delayed by 2 seconds? Ha, what a novel idea!

VR Party Game does just that. It's a Cardboard app/game that transmits your smartphone's rear camera view onto the screen, but applies one of three special effects to confuse you. It can delay the view by 2 seconds, mirror it, or flip it upside down. The idea is to use it as a party game with friends, asking each other to complete a few tasks while wearing the Cardboard headset.

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Google's Seventh Spotlight Story, Pearl, Now Available To Watch On YouTube And Cardboard

Fans of the burgeoning art of 360-degree short-form storytelling have probably been enamored by Google's Spotlight Stories, a series of videos designed to highlight the narrative potential of the VR format. The latest one is Pearl, a sort of extended animated music video about a man, his daughter, and the beat-up hatchback car that they share over about 20 years. The short is directed by Patrick Osbourne, and the original song "No Wrong Way Home" was written by Alexis Harte and JJ Weisler and performed by Nicki Bluhm and Kelley Stoltz.

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