Google Cardboard a Cheap Virtual Reality Alternative

Andy Kropa/Invision/AP
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Google has released its Google Cardboard viewer, a cheap alternative to the Oculus Rift in the virtual reality market. Interested consumers can purchase a Cardboard from these retailers or make their own.

Unlike the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset developed by Facebook-owned Oculus VR, the Cardboard enables virtual reality by fitting like a case around a user’s phone. Materials needed to build one include packaging box cardboard, a rubber band, Velcro, neodymium and ceramic magnets, and two lenses. While some of these items may be hard to come by, kits are sold on Amazon and Ebay for as little as a few dollars, which can be cheaper than buying the materials separately. Additionally, the Cardboard can be constructed without the magnets, Velcro, or rubber band.

The Cardboard app for Android and iPhone includes a tutorial for operating the device, as well as demos in which users can navigate around Google Earth or tour Versailles. Third-party apps for the Cardboard allow users to ride a 3D rollercoaster, explore a haunted house, and meet dinosaurs in a Jurassic Park-oriented environment.

A pornography company has even begun offering free Cardboard headsets. The site is separate from the company’s pornographic content, so it is safe for work. Shipping is free, no credit card is required to obtain one, and users do not need to watch porn with it. Delivery takes a few weeks.

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