Google Cardboard

My Google Cardboard came in today! Google Cardboard is a cheap alternative to Virtual Reality. It could be called the “Oculus Thrift”. It is exactly what it sounds like; a cardboard box that holds your phone in place with a couple of eye lenses that magnify your phone’s screen for each eye. I got to open it up and try it out and I was pleased with the experience! Obviously we’re not talking about a technologically advanced experience here but the experience is there and it’s worth trying out! It’s a great way for anyone wanting to try out VR without spending an arm and a leg. The motion tracking in this case is just the phone’s accelerometers that can guess your direction of view. It was a little shaky for me (it’s likely my own jitters from too much coffee) but it was accurate and enjoyable. There’s no strap to hold it onto your head so you have to hold it up yourself but for $14.99 you can’t beat the price of getting a slice of the VR experience and like the Rift there are plenty of free VR Apps and 360 Videos to try out there. And with a 5┬ámillion user install base it isn’t a bad market for a $0.99 App either!

The Packaging

The Packaging

 

The box

The box

 

Opening

Opening

 

The Google Cardboard viewer

The Google Cardboard viewer

 

Oculus SDK 1.3

Today the new Oculus SDK 1.3 was released as well as the Oculus Home software a portal that users will by default enter into when they start up their Rifts. This will be where users will make their purchases and downloads happen through the VR interface. 1.3 marks the end of pre-consumer version development and the beginning of development after CV1’s release (Consumer Version 1 for those who are acronym adverse). I downloaded the new SDK and the Home app and I was delighted by the Home interface but I have been having trouble with Unity development in 1.3. I should have most of the wrinkles smoothed soon hopefully and I’ll be back up and running with this new SDK. Suffice it to say I am not able to jump into Play mode with the DK2 headset like I was before even with the proper Unity Package installed. On the brightside Oculus has officially shipped and consumers should be receiving their Rifts in the coming weeks! Meanwhile I’ll continue to develop with my DK2 until the touch is released or when I order┬áthe HTC Vive!

The new Oculus SDK 1.3

The new Oculus SDK 1.3

 

Oculus Home – Image From: http://www.theriftarcade.com/