While 2015 has not fulfilled futuristic predictions like flying cars and food re-hydrators, you can at least experience virtual reality, or VR for short, as more affordable headset kits are making their way into the hands of consumers. This week, we’ll take a look at the Google Cardboard and help you decide if it’s worth adding to your shopping cart.
What is the Google Cardboard?
Google Cardboard turns your smartphone’s display screen into a VR experience. Google provides instructions for assembling the headset with cardboard, a few lenses, and a magnet to interact with the phone by tapping its screen. After you’ve assembled the kit, simply download the Google Cardboard app in the Google Play or iTunes store, plop your phone in and get ready to try out virtual reality.
What Can You Experience in Virtual Reality?
With the Google Cardboard app, you can immerse yourself in virtual environments, view 3D objects in a virtual museum, play interactive games or take hikes through cities around the world. You can even use a Google Earth to virtually fly over cities and famous locations.
Is it Worth Buying?
Well, that depends on what you hope to get out of by using Google Cardboard. If you’re looking for a smooth visual experience, then you might want to save your money for better-quality alternative. The average smartphone’s screen just doesn’t have a high-resolution enough display and there are some low-latency visuals that could lead to a feeling of queasiness or headaches.
However, if you’re looking for something that’s affordable — especially when compared to the $99 Oculus Rift — and entertaining, you might consider purchasing the Google Cardboard. At the very least, it’s amusing to see your friend's and family’s reaction to Virtual Reality. And if you're impressed by what Google Cardboard has to offer, then you'll be happy to know the VR experience is in its infancy stage. It's only bound to improve over time.
There are plenty of third-party headsets you can purchase on the cheap, but if you'd like to see what Google has to offer, check out their site here.
Whether you’re ready to assemble your own Google Cardboard kit, or you’d prefer to wait and see where virtual reality goes, the way we interact with the world around us is in an experimental but close-enough-to-see future.