Android Cardboard DIY Virtual Reality Headset

Want a virtual reality headset, but can’t afford the hefty pricetag on most existing models ? (Too expensive toy?).  Google dropped an inexpensive solution following its I/O keynote: Google Cardboard, an app that lets Android users transform their phones into VR headsets with the help of a DIY cardboard viewer. This is interesting. The parts needed to build it are cardboard, two lenses and magnet. This is not the first idea to turn smart phone to VR headset, but this this looks really interesting. Surely its a joke, but its also a real thing. So real that it is even available as ready made product. Here is picture from DIY cardboard viewer instructions:

If this made you curious (it made me), the app is available in the Google Play store. Cardboard is widely available and easy to work with. To build this VR headset, I still need to find those lenses somewhere…

And the app can even be tested without building the cardboard part (if your eyes focuses near enough and you can view on the right way you can see 3D without any extra hardware, worked somewhat for me). The app had some interesting 3D VR demonstrations.

Besides Android app there is also some VR Chrome experiments.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why a Chunk of Cardboard Might Be the Biggest Thing at Google I/O

    No, it isn’t a smartwatch. It isn’t even a gadget. It’s a cheap piece of cardboard, and it’s getting even the tech-jaded people here excited.

    The premise is simple. A cardboard contraption you can assemble in about 45 seconds. Just drop your phone into the little cardboard viewfinder you wind up with, hold it up to your face, and you’re immersed in a virtual reality world comparable in resolution to the first version of the Oculus Rift, if not better (depending on your phone).

    Facebook has Oculus. Sony has Project Morpheus. Reports have Samsung making a VR headset as well. So why, it was fair to wonder, wasn’t Google getting into the VR game? Well, it just did, and the way it’s going about it is absolutely genius. Rather than relying on an expensive piece of equipment (a headset with dedicated screens) Google Cardboard essentially gives virtual reality to everyone who has an Android phone. For free. The implications of that are tremendous. It’s the first time that virtual reality—good virtual reality—has ever been so ubiquitous, cheap, and readily available.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s Oculus-defying VR headset is made of CARDBOARD – no joke
    DIY virtual reality for the masses (if you don’t mind headaches)

    Most of the heavy lifting is handled by the Cardboard app, a 188MB download that works on any phone running Android 4.1 or later. With the app installed, you can place the phone inside Cardboard, close it up using the attached Velcro tabs, and an NFC tag inside the box automatically launches the app.

    The lenses in the front then allow you to view stereoscopic animations that move based on the phone’s sensors, so that when you tilt your head your vision pans around a virtual environment. A pair of magnets on one side of the box work with the phone’s magnetometer to act as a button for clicking on things.

    That’s the idea, at any rate.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Cardboard VR Kit for under $15

    Craving some virtual reality goodness? Unsure of Oculus after Facebook purchased them? Well — why not make your own then!

    This inspired [Wolfgang] to make his own variation of this, except instead of a phone, it fits a tablet much nicer. It really is just a cardboard box with the lenses glued in place — but it works!

    Besides the Cardboard app there’s a few more Android VR applications worth a look —
    Tuscany Dive
    Dive Volcano VR Demo

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One cheap ready made version:

    NEJE ZB02 DIY Google Cardboard + Resin Lens Virtual 3D Glasses w/ NFC for 4~7″ Cellphones – Brown

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    iFixit’s Oculus Rift teardown finds Samsung display, 40 LEDs

    The repair-guide website uncovers a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 display inside the second-generation virtual-reality headset prototype.

  6. Colin Rowat says:

    Does anyone know how the NEJE ZB01 and ZB02 ship? I’m looking for a kit with all the components, but which requires assembly (e.g. folding the cardboard, gluing the velcro & NFC tags, etc.).

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Another place to buy cheap Cardboard kit:

    Novelty DIY Cardboard Virtual Reality VR Mobile Phone 3D Glasses

    Cardboard application can be put mobilephone’s content split screen display, two eyes to see the content is not exactly the same, resulting in 3D display.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This is Samsung’s VR headset

    Samsung will be showing its rumored virtual reality headset at its upcoming product event in early September, The Verge has learned, where the company is widely expected to announce the Galaxy Note 4. The headset — codenamed “Project Moonlight” — appears to be a bit like Google’s Cardboard, a box with lenses that can effectively turn a smartphone display into an immersive world.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartphone VR Viewer Roundup

    In June 2014, Google revealed a low-cost Smartphone Adapter and VR SDK at their annual software developer conference in San Francisco, California. During the event, Google handed out 6,000 cardboard kits and released a tutorial online, which prompted homemade versions to surface on the web within three hours. This then sparked an iPad case manufacturer to fashion together their own cardboard VR kit that could be bought for $25. After a week, Google gained over 50,000 downloads of their cardboard Android app.

    Since virtual reality has exploded over the last year or so, we rounded up as many easy-to-make solutions as possible to see what is available on the market

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This looks like a pretty cheap Cardboard building kit (€ 3.20):

    Assembling Google Virtual Reality Cardboard w/ Resin Lens Set – Khaki

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NEJE JS0004-3 3D Virtual Reality Glass DIY Set

    Magnets + glass + aluminum

    1 x Precision Knife ( with 5 PCS replacement blades )
    2 x Lens ( d=3cm)
    2 x Pairs of Velcros (black)
    1 x NFC Chip (For DIY)
    1 x Headband (60cm)

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Somewhat related virtual reality experiment without electronics….

    The Eye-Teleporter turns your world upside down – literally!

    Would you like to see the world from the point of view of your belly, or perhaps from several feet above your own head? Of course you would, who wouldn’t! Well, now you can. Behold the Eye-Teleporter, an incredibly low-tech device that marvellously transports your perspective using only cardboard and a couple of mirrors. Simply place the device over your head to revolutionise the way you see the world.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google’s road to virtual reality begins with Cardboard

    When I first saw Google’s Cardboard VR contraption earlier this year, I laughed. I thought to myself, “This is a joke, right?” How could this piece of cutout cardboard with a phone in it possibly work as a virtual reality headset? Compared to the Oculus Rift and Samsung’s own smartphone-powered Gear VR, this Cardboard thing seemed more like a high school arts and crafts project than anything high-tech. I didn’t take it seriously.

    I was wrong.

    Not only is Google’s Cardboard virtual reality experience more enjoyable than I imagined (we’ll get to my hands-on experience later), but also Cardboard is much more than just a DIY toy. As silly as it seems, this combination of cardboard, Velcro strips, magnets and plastic lenses is Google’s first serious entry into the brave new world of virtual reality.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LG Dabbles In VR With Free Google Cardboard-Like Headset For G3 Buyers

    LG is signalling that it, too, is interested in virtual reality, following the example of Samsung’s Gear VR. LG isn’t quite as interested, though – its initial VR project is more of a flirtation than a commitment, using Google Cardboard’s cheap-and-easy approach, instead of seeking out an embedded partner like Oculus. LG’s strategy has a benefit for consumers: New G3 purchasers in select markets will receive the new ‘VR for G3′ headset for free with their smartphone.

    The VR for G3 works with Google’s existing Cardboard software, as well as any third-party apps made for that barebones phone-holding headset, and also comes with a VR game called Robobliteration available via QR code with new G3 smartphones as a promotional offer. The plastic LG headset operates in much the same way, and contains no processors or screens of its own – offering instead lenses that work with the G3’s quad HD display, as well as a ring magnet controller like the cardboard Cardboard from Google.

    Google’s Cardboard Product Manager wholly endorses LG coming on board with the platform, and it makes sense that the company would welcome support from other key ecosystem hardware partners.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mattel upgrades View-Master to this decade with Google virtual reality glasses technology:

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Cardboard gets a new standard to unify devices and viewers

    Google’s lo-fi virtual reality solution is already popular enough that it needs a standard.

    Google Cardboard has seen an explosion of new third-party viewers spring up since its launch about a year ago, and this has the company responding with a new certification standard today called “Works With Google Cardboard.” It’s a way to certify manufacturers of these fold-together cardboard viewers as well as support the varied builds through the Cardboard software. This standard opens the door for anyone with a smartphone to try VR. The low-tech, smartphone-friendly Cardboard scene is just one segment of the rapidly growing virtual reality market, which is expect to hit $150 billion by 2020.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Finally, VR For Four Eyes

    In the next few years, VR headsets will be everywhere, and everyone will slowly recede into their own little reality that is presented on high-resolution displays right in front of their eyes. One specific group will be left out: eyeglass wearers. VR just doesn’t work with eyeglasses, and a few people in Germany are fixing this problem. They’re creating custom prescription lenses for Google Cardboard, giving anyone with glasses the opportunity to look just a little more hipster.

    The folks behind this Indiegogo already run a specialty optics shop in Germany.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Conor Dougherty / New York Times:
    Google redesigns Cardboard VR headset to fit larger phones, updates SDK with support for iOS, partners with GoPro to develop 16-camera 360-degree VR recorder

    Google Intensifies Focus on Its Cardboard Virtual Reality Device

    Google has seen the future, and it is littered with cardboard boxes.

    At its Google I/O developer conference here on Thursday, the search giant announced several programs that aim to put its virtual reality viewer, called Cardboard, at the center of a growing online world in which people can use their smartphone and YouTube to watch videos rendered in 3-D.

    Google introduced its virtual reality viewer — a cardboard box, with some lenses and a magnet, that looks a lot like a plastic View-Master toy — as a gift at last year’s I/O conference.

    Typical of the Google playbook, the company put Cardboard’s specifications online so hobbyists and manufacturers could build them.

    In the year since, people have made viewers from foam, aluminum and walnut, and the Cardboard app was downloaded a million or so times.

    At this year’s I/O, Google is doubling down on Cardboard with initiatives meant to expand virtual reality to as many phones as possible. First of these is a new software kit that will make it easier for developers to build Cardboard apps for iPhones. The company also redesigned the cardboard hardware so that it is easier to fold and can now accommodate any smartphone, including popular, larger-screen, so-called phablets.

    With Cardboard, Google’s virtual reality is decidedly low cost and low frills, but, as in other Google efforts, like the free Android software that is the most widely used operating system in the world, it seems meant more to amass an audience than make money.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How Oculus and Cardboard Are Going to Rock the Travel Industry

    As advertisers jump on VR, it may just be a matter of time before you can rack up air miles, virtually

    This is advertising on steroids.

    Marriott calls this a “4-D” experience, and its one of the latest innovations in virtual reality. Delivered via an Oculus Rift headset inside a special Teleporter station, this experience is part of the hotel chain’s “Travel Brilliantly” campaign. You feel as if you’re in a movie playing 360-degrees around you, all above you, underneath your feet. You don’t direct it like a video game but instead hold on and go for the ride.

    It very well might be the future of travel.

    “The secret sauce,” he says, “is in 4D, because being on a vacation affects more than just your eyes and ears.” So when you step onto the beach you smell the salty air (via a synced scent release), or when you tunnel through a wormhole you feel the ground shake (via motion signals and a rumbling platform).

    Relegated to geeky fantasy for years, VR hardware is suddenly cheap, portable, and there for the travel-brand taking. For his next off-the-record project for Marriott, he’ll be using $199 off-the-shelf Gear VR headsets by Samsung to view a Galaxy 6 or Galaxy Note 4 smartphone running Oculus software.

    “It’s a race right now for content. If you’re first, you win.”

    Travel companies such as Thomas Cook, Qantas Airways, and Destination BC in Canada are also creating their own promotional VR videos. And they say this is just the beginning.

    “We see virtual reality as an innovation that will change the travel business,” says Marco Ryan, chief digital officer for Thomas Cook Group, a U.K.-based tour operator that began testing VR content last year to boost sales. “The closer you get to the destination, the more excited you are to have that experience”—i.e., buy that experience.

    VR is not changing what customers actually experience on a trip. At least, not yet.

    Currently, in 10 select Thomas Cook store locations in the U.K., Germany, and Belgium, you can strap on a Gear VR headset and try your tour before you buy

    The next step, according to Ryan, is to go beyond brick-and-mortar stores and deliver VR brochures into homes.

    Together with a VR company called Visualise, Thomas Cook has begun gathering “excursion” videos. They’re filmed with a 360-degree, specially designed rig of GoPro cameras, which the company made itself before Google unveiled its commercial version of a similar 16-camera rig called Jump at last month’s I/O conference.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brad Sams /
    Microsoft Has A Google Cardboard Competitor Called VR Kit

    When it comes to virtual reality and Microsoft, most people think of HoloLens, even though that device is what the company calls “mixed reality”. But, it looks like Microsoft is set to take on Google’s Cardboard with their own virtual reality box called VR Kit.

    Spotted on a website to promote a hackathon in Russia, Microsoft is trying to attract developers to an upcoming hackathon that will use the company’s VR-Kits. As you can see in the image at the top of this post, the kit works by inserting your Lumia into a cardboard box and then holding it to your face.

    The event is being held on October 17th and Microsoft is promoting the event by saying that ideas that are “successful”, according to the translation, the team will be given a VR-Kit so they can keep building their application.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
    New York Times partners with Google on virtual reality project, will distribute over 1M cardboard VR viewers to subscribers, and will release new VR film — The Times Partners With Google on Virtual Reality Project — The New York Times announced on Tuesday a virtual reality project …

    The Times Partners With Google on Virtual Reality Project

    The New York Times announced on Tuesday a virtual reality project in collaboration with Google, which will include the distribution of more than a million cardboard VR viewers to subscribers.

    The New York Times Magazine will release a new virtual reality film, called “The Displaced,” about children uprooted by war. It can be watched with the cardboard viewers, which are used with a smartphone and will be sent to home delivery subscribers on the weekend of Nov. 7. Some digital subscribers will receive codes by email to redeem for a free viewer.

    Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said the magazine had “created the first critical, serious piece of journalism using virtual reality, to shed light on one of the most dire humanitarian crises of our lifetime.”

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Cardboard’s New York Times Experiment Just Hooked a Generation on VR

    Yesterday my Facebook feed filled up with pictures of friends’ kids clutching cardboard boxes to their faces. Well, I should say, Cardboard boxes.

    That’s because subscribers to The New York Times’ Sunday print edition received a Google Cardboard virtual reality headset, wrapped in the standard-issue blue plastic bag, as part of the Times’ rollout of its own VR content.

    Cardboard isn’t much to look at. It’s a bit of corrugated, yes, cardboard and some velcro that you fold to create a slot for your smartphone and a pair of flaps to block your peripheral vision. Inside is the crucial component, the pair of cheap plastic lenses that that transform the flat, doubled-up images on your phone’s screen into the illusion of an immersive 3-D environment.

    But Cardboard’s crudeness is also its genius. It’s cheap enough to be handed out for free; we smartphone users supply the only part that’s expensive.

    Kids who’ve had the VR experience have a new set of expectations of what it should mean to interact with a computer.

    New Is Normal

    If you’re my age, the first thing I bet you thought when you heard VR was making a comeback was, “Wait, didn’t they try that in the ’90s?” Then you experience today’s version, and you discover that VR’s current incarnation is not what you experienced at that cyber café back when we were still calling things “cyber.”

    If you’re a kid, on the other hand, there’s a good chance you’ve grown up assuming that portable touchscreen portals to a significant portion of human knowledge, entertainment, and communication are a given. Yes, you think your dad’s iPhone is pretty cool. But then yesterday you put on Google Cardboard and watched a train come hurtling toward you before you flew up into the sky and into the embrace of a giant baby. And you said, “Yeah, now we’re talking.”

    Experiencing VR for the first time isn’t just cool; it’s revelatory. This is why so many of us made sure to capture the moment of our kids’ first encounter.

    I believe we had a collective sense that our kids were experiencing something meaningfully new—not just an encounter with a new technology, but with a new way of relating to technology.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stop Calling Google Cardboard’s 360-Degree Videos ‘VR’

    I love seeing people get excited about their first taste of VR. The sooner more people experience the transformative power of VR, the better. But if the high-powered, desktop headsets that are coming next year are the main course for virtual reality, then viewing 360-degree video using Google Cardboard is an amuse-bouche at best. It’s a decent first taste, but 360 video is as far from real VR as seeing the Grand Canyon through a Viewmaster is from standing at the edge of the canyon’s South Rim.

    With technology as potentially polarizing as VR, I worry that the slightest hiccup will have a negative impact on people’s perception—and adoption—of that tech.

    The Golden Rule of VR

    At the lowest level, VR uses an array of sensors to precisely track the movement of your head. The computer then perfectly maps your head’s real-world movement onto your view of a virtual world. If you turn your head to the left in the real world, the computer exactly mimics your movement in the rendered world. When executed perfectly, VR tricks your brain into thinking that what you see is real, on both a conscious and subconscious level.

    It sounds simple, but perfecting the execution has prove difficult. Most people are highly sensitive to the slightest dissonance between the movement detected by their inner ear and the motion that they see with their eyes. The human brain is sensitive below the level of conscious perception. If your VR game or application consistently shows frames of animation that are off by a few milliseconds, many people will feel ill effects.

    The good news is the high-end headsets have solved the motion sickness problem for most people.

    The Problem with 360 Video

    The bad news for applications like the NYT VR application and 360 video as a whole is that it’s impossible to avoid breaking this rule with 360 video. 360 video is inherently limited, and its problems are exacerbated by the other limitations of phone-based platforms like Cardboard. But even on more capable desktop platforms, which support higher frame rates and positional tracking, you won’t be able to get up and walk around in a 360 video. The cameras just can’t capture the data required to allow that.

    Even if the director of a 360 film avoids doing something inexcusable like moving the camera, the slight lateral movements that happen when you move your head to look around can be enough to trigger motion sickness.

    How long is too long for 360 video? In my informal tests, between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the individual’s reported sensitivity to motion sickness.

    This jibes nicely with the Times’ report that the average user spends 14 minutes and 27 seconds in the NYT VR app.

    Good, Fast, or Easy: Pick Two

    In the short term, 360 video offers a relatively cheap bridge to the new medium. It’s fast. You can draft off of the many existing player infrastructures and creating 360 video adds just a few steps to the existing toolchain for video production. It’s easy.

    It isn’t really good, though. This is just the latest example of content creators shoehorning old formats into new technologies.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Carlos Hernandez / Official Google Blog:
    Google releases Cardboard Camera app for making 3D panoramas on Android that can be viewed in Cardboard VR headsets — Step inside your photos with Cardboard Camera — With Google Cardboard, you can take amazing trips to faraway places and feel like you’re actually there.

    Step inside your photos with Cardboard Camera

    With Google Cardboard, you can take amazing trips to faraway places and feel like you’re actually there. But what if you could also use Cardboard to go back in time—to step inside personal moments like your favorite vacation or a holiday dinner with family? Now you can with the new Cardboard Camera app for Android. Cardboard Camera turns the smartphone in your pocket into a virtual reality (VR) camera. It’s simple to take a photo: just hold out your phone and move it around you in a circle. Later, when you place your phone inside a Google Cardboard viewer, you’ll get to experience something new: a VR photo.

    Cardboard Camera

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Baby Saved by Doctors Using Google Cardboard after 3D Printer Fails

    It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. Doctors tell you that your baby is sick and there’s nothing they can do. Luckily though, a combination of hacks led to a happy ending for [Teegan Lexcen] and her family.

    Google Cardboard saves baby’s life

    A toy-like cardboard contraption that sells for less than $20 online has helped save the life of a baby who was so sick that doctors told her parents to take her home to die.

    Doctors at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami used the device to map out an operation they say they couldn’t have envisioned otherwise.

    “It was mind-blowing,” says Cassidy Lexcen, the baby’s mother. “To see this little cardboard box and a phone, and to think this is what saved our daughter’s life.”

    Burke asked Dr. Juan Carlos Muniz, a pediatric cardiologist who specializes in imaging, to make a 3-D model of Teegan’s heart. It had helped in complicated cases before.

    A few hours later, Muniz reported bad news: Their 3-D printer was broken. “Technology always goes on the fritz at the worst possible time,”

    But it turned out to be the best possible time, because it forced Muniz to come up with an option that worked better.

    He’d been chatting with Dr. David Ezon, a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, about using virtual reality — mainly used for playing video games — for children’s hearts.

    After that discussion, Muniz bought a Google Cardboard device and had been playing with it in his office. With the broken printer, now was the time to use it for real, he decided.

    Using an app called Sketchfab, Muniz downloaded images of Teegan’s heart onto his iPhone and showed them to Burke.

    They were similar, yet different from 3-D images they’d been using on computer screens. With the goggles, it was possible to move around and see the heart from every angle — to almost be inside the heart checking out its structure.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Cardboard Gets a Big Upgrade With Realistic 3D Audio

    Today, Google Cardboard is upgrading its SDK with new tools for improved positional audio—and the difference is a huge for Google’s low-cost VR effort. “People tend to focus on visual quality in VR but audio is just as important,” says Google Cardboard’s Nathan Martz. “The way people tend to do 3D audio is a pretty simple approximation…you don’t have the right audio cues.”

    Using tech developed by Thrive Audio, which Google bought back in April, Cardboard developers can now create a more accurate soundscape with not just left and right audio cues, but also top, bottom, front, back, and every direction in between. It’s a full 360 degrees of sound, just like it should be.

    Google Cardboard does work with one major limitation—your smartphone. Unlike the $600 Oculus Rift that requires a whole separate (ridiculously high-spec’d) PC to create its VR illusion, Cardboard works with whatever silicon chips are packed inside your smartphone. Martz says that Cardboard’s new tools will do all the processing on a secondary CPU, meaning developers don’t need to cut away precious visual fidelity from their VR creations, so most phones will be able to take advantage of the new audio upgrade.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tim Bradshaw / Financial Times:
    Sources: Google to release Gear VR-like headset this year compatible with a broad range of smartphones, embed VR technology into Android OS — Google pushes further into world of virtual reality — Google is developing a new virtual-reality headset for smartphones, and adding extra support …

    Google pushes further into virtual reality with new headset

    Google is developing a new virtual-reality headset for smartphones, and adding extra support for the technology to its Android operating system, as it challenges Facebook’s Oculus for an early lead in Silicon Valley’s latest platform war.

    The new headset will be a successor to Cardboard.

    Google declined to comment on the updated headset, but Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said last week that Cardboard was “just the first step” in its VR efforts. “Beyond these early efforts, you’ll see a lot more from us and our partners in 2016,”

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Andrew Liszewski / Gizmodo:
    Mattel’s $40 Google Cardboard-compatible VR View-Master 2.0, coming this fall, fixes many problems of the original — The VR View-Master 2.0 Will Be the Best Google Cardboard You Can Buy — Last year Mattel completely re-invented the View-Master by turning it into what eventually became …

    The VR View-Master 2.0 Will Be the Best Google Cardboard You Can Buy

    Last year Mattel completely re-invented the View-Master by turning it into what eventually became one of the better Google Cardboard solutions on the market. For $30 it was cheap, comfortable, and held almost any smartphone available. And this year Mattel will be introducing a new model that fixes all the original’s minor problems.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google adds Virtual Reality section to Google Store; starts selling Cardboard compatible viewers in the US
    By Daniel Tyson on March 1, 2016 — 88 readers now

    Google has been moving into the Virtual Reality space for a few years now, ever since Cardboard was announced as a throwaway at the end of Google I/O back in 2014. They’ve previously left the sales of devices, including the DIY Cardboard headsets to other manufacturers but now it seems you can buy them from Google themselves, at least in the US.

    Google is offering three headsets on the Google Store, with their own Cardboard headset selling for $15USD, the Mattel View-Master VR Starter Pack, which includes an iPhone 5/5c/5s adaptor and View-Master preview reel selling for $29.99USD and the Goggle Tech C1-Glass VR Viewer selling for $14.99USD.

    Google has been ramping up their VR efforts of late, rumours abound of a standalone Google VR product in development, but so far they’ve been content to push the Cardboard platform as their preferred VR system. It’s fairly successful too, with Google recently announcing that over 5-million Cardboard viewers had been shipped around the world and over 25 Million Cardboard app installs have been completed.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    David Gianatasio / Adweek:
    McDonald’s Sweden trialing $4.10 Happy Goggles, Happy Meal boxes that turn into Google Cardboard-like VR viewers

    McDonald’s Is Now Making Happy Meal Boxes That Turn Into Virtual Reality Headsets
    Happy Goggles debut in Sweden in trial run

    McDonald’s Sweden is launching a promotion that invites kids to turn Happy Meal boxes into virtual-reality viewers. Dubbed Happy Goggles, some 3,500 of them will be made available at 14 restaurants over the weekends of March 5 and March 12. The price is about $4.10.

    The push is tied to the Swedish “Sportlov” recreational holiday, during which many families go skiing. With this in mind, McD’s created a ski-themed VR game, “Slope Stars,” for use with the oggles (though they work just as well with any mobile VR experience). The game can also be played in a less immersive fashion without them.

    To turn the iconic red boxes into Happy Goggles, just tear along some perforated lines and fold, inserting the VR lenses (included) and a smartphone (bring your own).

    It’s kind of like Google Cardboard—with fries.

    DDB Stockholm developed the strategy, design and packaging, while North Kingdom Stockholm created the game; Prime is handling publicity.

    McDonald’s is not the first company to take advantage of VR to market to kids. Late last year, Mattel decided to rejuvenate the View-Master brand for a new generation.

    “the gaming can be a good joint activity that makes it easier to hang out.”

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lego VR Goggles: Lego Optics Lab DIY Stereoscope

    Virtual Reality (VR) Goggles: Built my own cell phone stereograph viewer with parts from my Lego optics lab.

    1 Green baseplate 48 X 48 studs
    1 Lego optics lab cell phone/iPod mount
    2 Lego optics lab small lens holders
    2 Magnifying lenses (I used two convex lenses from the computer projector I took apart)

    It turns out that it is so easy to build a stereograph viewer that I really didn’t need the lens holders and could use a pair of dollar store reading glasses. The cardboard divider is optional if you have trouble relaxing your eyes like you would to view those 3D “Magic Eye” images.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Of course, if you insist that it’s just another passing tech fashion, you may enjoy Google’s alternative April Fool, the Google Cardboard Plastic. It’s not virtual reality, nor augmented reality. It’s just reality – as seen through plastic

    Google Cardboard Plastic combines everything you love about virtual reality headsets with everything you love about reality.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:
    YouTube for iOS Now Supports Google Cardboard

    ouTube for iOS has been updated today with Google Cardboard support, allowing for all videos to be watched in VR mode on iPhone. The functionality was previously limited to the YouTube app on Android smartphones since November 2015.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ina Fried / Recode:
    Google will compete with its partners and sell its own Daydream virtual reality headsets — Think Nexus, but for VR. — While focusing yesterday on its new virtual reality headset as a design that will be licensed to partners, Google also plans to sell a version of Daydream itself.

    Google will compete with its partners and sell its own Daydream virtual reality headsets
    Think Nexus, but for VR.

    While focusing yesterday on its new virtual reality headset as a design that will be licensed to partners, Google also plans to sell a version of Daydream itself.

    The Daydream headset is designed as an evolution of the low-end Cardboard, relying on a phone to provide the display, brains and head-tracking abilities. Unlike Cardboard, though, Daydream is designed to be far more comfortable so it can be used for longer periods of time.

    A separate controller does have electronics, including a bunch of sensors, several buttons and a clickable trackpad.

    VR head Clay Bavor confirmed Google will sell its version of the hardware.

    The move is similar to what Google did with Cardboard, showing Google wants to make sure lots of these headsets get out. If other makers get enough devices out, great, but if not, Google wants to make sure lots of people have access to Daydream.

    Google and partners like Epic Games and Unity focused a lot of their attention on the motion-sensing controller that accompanies the headset. Oculus, for example, has plans for a motion controller shipping later this year.

    The headset and controller aren’t the only components for Daydream. Google is also certifying a range of phones as Daydream-ready.

    Google is also working with video partners including Hulu, Netflix, IMAX, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.

    Unreal Engine adds full Google Daydream VR support, native Unity support coming this summer

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s inside Google’s new Daydream virtual reality headset
    It really is Cardboard 2.0.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Adi Robertson / The Verge:
    Clay Bavor talks about Daydream, its Cardboard origins, and Google’s ambitions for the new VR platform

    Why Google Daydream matters — and how it could change virtual reality
    Google could finally make mobile VR feel like more than a compromise

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Queen guitarist Brian May releases virtual reality viewer
    Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality

    Queen guitarist Brian May is an enthusiast for stereo imagery, the Victorian-era 3D craze for viewing photos through a stereoscope in order to be awed by the illusion of depth in static images. May’s put his money where his eyes are, operating the London Stereoscopic Company to promote the technology.

    Now the shaggy-haired one has taken a step into virtual reality, adapting the Company’s OWL viewer to hold smartphones.

    As the video below shows, May’s OWL Virtual Reality Kit looks an awful lot like a Google Cardboard, but done in plastic with better handles and without even a hint of a head strap. The device is claimed to work with any brand and model of smartphone, but behaves especially well when paired with an iPhone 6 Plus.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    VR the champions: Queen legend Brian May has made a rival to Google Cardboard

    The rock god and astrophysicist has a long-standing fascination with 3D imagery, leading him to create the wallet-friendly Owl viewer.

    If Brian May could capture one moment from his life so that others could step inside that moment and experience it, it would be the time he strode onto the roof of Buckingham Palace alone except for his guitar and played to 200 million people.

    “I’d love people to know what that felt like,” said the Queen guitarist. “It was a whole life-changing experience for me.”

    The band filmed its recent Barcelona concert with 360-degree cameras that zoomed around the gig on a four-point wire system suspended over the crowd — the type of camera you’ve probably seen flying over arenas and sports fixtures. You’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere, both on stage and from within the crowd, by watching the resulting VR experience through a wallet-friendly 3D and VR viewer developed by May himself, called the Owl.

    Like the make-it-yourself Google Cardboard viewer, the Owl viewer holds a smartphone in front of two lenses so when you look through it you can see glorious 3D, 360-degree and virtual-reality photos and videos. It will be available in mid-June for £25 from the London Stereoscopic Company, a concern backed by May (much to the bemusement of his accountant).

    V(R) will rock you

    May happily digresses on the history of stereoscopy stretching back to the innovations of Sir Charles Wheatstone in the Victorian age. Today, he says, with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive among the VR kit immersing people in three-dimensional virtual worlds, “We’ve come almost full circle. There’s no better way to experience 3D than the Victorian way.”

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dirt Cheap VR Gun with Tracking for $15 of Added Hardware

    This project is an attempt to develop a VR shooting demo and the associated hardware on a budget, complete with tracking so that the gun can be aimed independent of the user’s view. [matthewhallberg] calls it The Oculus Cardboard Project, named for the combined approach of using a Google Cardboard headset for the VR part, and camera-based object tracking for the gun portion. The game was made in Unity 3D with the Vuforia augmented reality plugin. Not counting a smartphone and Google Cardboard headset, the added parts clocked in at only about $15.

    The Oculus Cardboard Project
    DIY Virtual Reality Gun For Google Cardboard


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