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. Read More
So you've yet to snag a free Google Cardboard VR headset from a trade show. Or a Star Wars promotion. Or a copy of the New York Times, or a late-night talk show host, or even a freakin' porn website. And even when Google started selling Cardboard for actual money, they only did it in the US and not [your country here]. Don't worry: if you lack the skills and/or materials to build one of the ultra-cheap headsets, you can now buy one in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, or Germany. Read More
The current boom in virtual reality tech is progressing along roughly two lines: big, complex, and expensive VR headsets driven by full-power gaming machines, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and small, cheap headsets that slot a high-resolution smartphone in to pull double duty as processing unit and display, like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Users who don't have four figures worth of money to burn have had to make do with the latter. But a new app is hoping to change that. Read More
Virtual reality is the tech topic du jour, with nearly every major hardware and software company (or one of their partners) looking into it in some capacity. Time will tell if this is just a fad or something that will truly change the way we interact with technology, but Google is hedging its bets. In addition to the growing Cardboard VR platform, a few user-facing changes in the second developer preview of Android N point to more robust support for virtual reality in the future. Read More
Don't let the information-rich but ultimately sterile presentation fool you. Google's latest 360-degree video, which offers a virtual tour of the company's The Dalles, Oregon data center facility, is porn. Okay, so it's porn for people with incredibly specific tastes. People whose blood starts to boil at the sight of thousands of rack-mounted severs. People who are aroused by a bajillion miles of meticulously organized fiber optic cable. People who get excited at the sight of intense biometric security. But porn nonetheless. Read More
It's time to get out your Cardboard viewers, there's an update to Google's demo app for the lil' VR platform that could. Version 1.8 came out yesterday with a brand new demo called Arctic Journey. It's a brief tour through some of the experiences we can have in VR, set in the frozen landscape of the very, very far north. As you might expect, words are inadequate to describe the scenery, so here's some idea of what you might encounter on a trip to the North Pole.
Image source: Google Cardboard (G+)
The tour starts with a cute arctic fox and continues through different scenes as it introduces themes like flight, playing, learning, creating, and relaxation. Read More
Spotlight Stories is one of the remnants of Motorola that Google kept after selling the company to Lenovo. It's a fun project that releases interesting movies every now and then that aren't like anything you've seen before. They're interactive, shot in 360-degree, and each time you watch them, you can unveil a different storyline and ending by simply moving and looking elsewhere.
Spotlight Stories used to be confined to their Android app, but Google brought them out to YouTube back in December as 360-degree videos that you can only watch on your phone in the YouTube app either on your screen or through Cardboard. Read More
Virtual reality is suddenly a big deal again. It's like the early 90s, but with devices you might actually want to buy. Google is ramping up its Cardboard VR promotion with a dedicated VR area of the Google Store. Featured for sale are the View-Master and C1-Glass VR viewers. Read More