With Cardboard, it seems that Google is in the middle of an effort to push VR along as quickly as possible by inviting everyone to participate.
Since launching the viewer with an open-sourced design, Google has gone on to promote Cardboard-compatible apps, provide viewer specifications, and publish SDKs, encouraging more developers and would-be Cardboard manufacturers to join the party. Ostensibly the philosophy is that VR will reach its potential faster if everyone works together.
Today, Google has announced a new "Works with Cardboard" program to equip developers and manufacturers with even more tools.
For manufacturers, Google will release a tool that configures any viewer to work with all apps. Read More
Google Cardboard seemed like a bit of a joke when it was announced at I/O last year, but as time goes on it becomes increasingly apparent that Cardboard was the legitimate starting point for Google's take on VR. You'll probably recognize the next step—Google is teaming up with Mattel to revive the classic View-Master brand as an Android-powered VR headset. It even has collectible reels.
Google Cardboard is a pretty cool concept. But making your own headset for the novelty of a handful of VR apps is a daunting task, if only because it requires some very specific lenses and magnets inside all that cardboard. LG is hoping to alleviate that concern, at least for new buyers of its G3 flagship phone, by giving them a free Cardboard headset. Even better, it's not actually made out of cardboard - it's good old-fashioned plastic, which should stand up to a few more beatings. Of course that messes with the name somewhat - maybe they should call it Google Plastic? Read More
Yesterday, Google Cardboard revealed that Maps has a pretty awesome easter egg hidden in plain sight - users can take a look at streetview through Cardboard with a simple tap.
As the gif below explains, users need only double-tap the "look around" FAB in streetview to trigger a stereoscopic view of the location they've looked up.
Slide your phone into a Cardboard viewer, and you can "see the sights" just like you were there (as long as you've got a fast connection, anyway). Read More
The foldable cardboard VR kits Google gave away at I/O 2014 weren't just a one-off stunt. Today, in its developers blog, Google had some big announcements for the home-brewed virtual reality viewer.
First up, Google has grouped a handful of Cardboard-compatible apps into their own collection on the Play Store. The Cardboard app itself has also received an update, with the ability to discover cardboard apps on the Play Store, and launch them directly from the viewer.
Google has also introduced new Cardboard SDKs for Android and Unity in an effort to make developing for the cardboard box a little bit easier. Read More
We've heard rumor after rumor of Samsung's virtual reality headset in recent weeks, and according to the Verge the manufacturer is (as previous rumors suggested) set to unveil the device (codenamed Project Moonlight) at its upcoming Unpacked event in Berlin and New York, where Samsung is also expected to announce the Galaxy Note 4. What's more, the Verge has what appears to be a photo of the headset, next to a Samsung phone and Bluetooth controller.
The image seems to show a focus dial and ample lenses, as well as a front panel that would hold a phone, falling in line with previous rumors. Read More
This is Google Cardboard. It's really, really weird.
Here's the gist: Google is experimenting with virtual reality displays at I/O 2014, including a new VR toolkit for developers to try out. They've also created an Android app that will let you simulate an Oculus Rift-style, dual-screen VR headset using only your phone, kind of like that Samsung rumor from last month. Here's the problem: you don't have a headset. Google I/O attendees are getting free headsets that they can build out of cardboard, which then holds their phone at optimal VR-viewing distance. Because nothing says "international developer conference run by one of the world's biggest technology companies" like a bunch of coders strapping cardboard boxes to their faces. Read More
I get the feeling that Samsung often makes hardware just to be sure they've got something ready, on the slim but possibly lucrative chance that an upcoming hardware market explodes. The Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Gear, the Gear Fit, the Galaxy Beam - all of them slightly crazy niche products following a trend. If Engadget is to be believed, you can add a virtual reality headset to the mix. A Samsung VR headset, similar to the Oculus Rift but intended for use with Samsung phones and tablets, is rumored for production later this year.
Why? At this stage in Samsung's corporate development, it might be more appropriate to ask, "why not?" Engadget's sources claim that Samsung wants to beat Oculus owner Facebook and Sony's project Mobius to market, besting them on price and banking on the strength of the Galaxy brand. Read More
Virtual reality didn't die in the 90's, it just needed the right hardware to get going again. The Oculus Rift VR headset has developers and enthusiasts excited, but it's currently tethered to the PC. According to Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe, that's a temporary situation – the team is planning to bring the Oculus Rift to Android.
The Oculus Rift – for the unaware – is a visor with a 7-inch screen with two lenses (one for each eye) that can produce a realistic 3D experience at 640×800 in each eye. The consumer version is expected to sport 1080p resolution, and it will likely weigh quite a bit less than the dev kit at 0.83lbs. Read More