Friday, November 06, 2015

Blown away by VR - Google Cardboard

My "EightOnes VR Kit V2 inspired by Google Cardboard V2.0 - Easy Assembly Virtual Reality Headset With Capacitive Touch Button" kit arrived yesterday and I put it together this morning.

With the help of this video, plus downloading the Google Cardboard app, it's not so hard.

Is it possible to classify an experience as simultaneously awesome and clunky? Google's app comes with a set of demos so you can (using a lot of WiFi bandwidth) ..

  • wingsuit your way across American mountains, valleys and caverns 
  • take a flying tour of Chicago, Google Earth-style 
  • immerse yourself in the Palace of Versaille with a charming, french-accented guide.

At these moments you know that when Virtual Reality comes of age, the world will be transformed.

Meanwhile, my hands got tired holding the viewer, and as I can't easily get my Nexus 6 out of its cover, I had to physically hold it against the back of the cardboard box.

But at £12.99 why not buy at VR 'release 0.1'? I'm now looking for other VR packages for Cardboard - more guided tours, more exotic scenery.

I already downloaded a VR planetarium and toured the solar system ...

A proper review here.

I think it would be a great Christmas present.


Update: since the above was written I've been intermittently looking for content. There's not much, and what there is falls into three categories:

  • Still pictures taken with 3D cameras. You can move your PoV through 360 degrees
  • 3D Movies where you are passive - danger of nausea!
  • Genuine 3D environments where you can look around, move and interact.

Only the last option delivers the true promise of VR and it's the hardest to provide. I haven't tried any games - I was hoping instead to wander virtually around some exotic faraway locations and/or see strange wildlife - but there's very little content out there, either on YouTube or Google Play. Don't know if Cardboard will be enough to kickstart things.

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