Google made some interesting announcements at its I/O conference that kicked off yesterday. The company showed something quite confusing moments before the end, something that is designed from cardboard, something Google gave attendees for free. That something turned out to be the first step in Google virtual reality plans.
Virtual reality is slowly carving a piece of the tech world for itself with the quick movements of the Oculus Rift, and Sony's Project Morpheus. It is likely Google saw the amount of interests these products are getting, hence the reason for this VR headset that is made from cardboard.
We understand that Google is calling this, Project Cardboard, and it is all about developers and curious users designing their own inexpensive VR headset out of cardboard material.
The Project Cardboard VR headset Google gifted to attendees of I/O, had all the important components, which includes a Velcro, rubber band, lenses, NFC tags, magnets, and of course, the cardboard design. Now, the rubber band is there for the purpose of strapping a smartphone to the VR headset.
As of now, Google's Project Cardboard only supports the following handsets:
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Google Nexus 4
- Google Nexus 5
- Motorola X
These are just the official supported devices, but we're certain Project Cardboard should work just fine with other Android handsets. From what we've heard, it works well with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, food for thought.
Currently, there are quite a few demos for the Project Cardboard app. Users can use it to watch YouTube, view the world with Google Earth and Maps among other things. Nothing on the lines of what is capable with the Oculus Rift, but it is a start.
In our eyes, this whole thing also goes to show that there is a possibility Google came up with the device in just a few short months, so we could see actual hardware sometime in the future if VR truly takes off on a global scale. The likes of Facebook and Sony should now be concerned with Google slowly but surely entering the market, not to mention that developers can create their own kit out of cardboard.
Furthermore, Google has made available the SDK, so we should see more apps in the coming months as developers get their heads around Project Cardboard.