Google’s Cardboard is a fold-out cardboard device that works with “most’ mobile phones. Although, not surprisingly, it tends to be more of an “Android thing” rather than an “Apple thing,” it is one of the only platforms that can work with both at the present time. On the surface, it sounds laughable. When it came out, it was literally thought to be a joke, but it turns out that it wasn’t. It is actually a “somewhat usable” low-cost system that is intended to encourage interest and development in VR and AR applications. That being said, while DIY instructions are available on the Google Cardboard web site, models are available for sale online that cost about the same amount and waste a lot less time when all is said and done.
In November of 2015, the New York Times teamed up with Google to make an important move. They sent a Cardboard viewer to every subscriber that receives a physical edition of the paper. Here is a beautifully written article that captures the potential importance and impact this move by the New York Times and Google might have in the long run.
Google Cardboard’s New York Times Experiment Just Hooked a Generation on VR (Marcus Wohlsen, Wired)
Google Cardboard (Google)
Google Cardboard Home (Google)
Google Cardboard Apps (Google Play Store)
Google Cardboard Demo (Google)
Google Cardboard VR Apps Channel (YouTube)
Google Cardboard (Wikipedia)
In November of 2016, Google also released their “Daydream” headset work only works in conjunction with ‘Daydream ready’ Android phones which so far specifically, and not coincidentally, means their “Pixel” phone. The system also includes a rotational motion controller that lets you interact more naturally with the virtual world. Here is their official video and some links about the system.
At $80 for the Daydream View, it is a reasonable starting point for users new to VR who already have the pricey phone, but otherwise, not necessarily a bargain or a player in the headset market (yet). Luckily, if you just want to try it out, there are places where you can do that now. Find a Daydream Demo Location