Google Cardboard?

Any experience with this? I had no idea it existed:

Looks cool - for $15 I figured I’d give it a shot. Mine is on order.

I just bought one. It is pretty cool. There are some neat apps for it. I liked the “Cosmic Roller Coaster” one.

It also displays any photos you have taken in panoramic mode in a 3d surround mode that is pretty realistic.

I have one, sent to me free by The New York Times a few months ago. But for whatever reason, I have done nothing with it. Which is a little weird, as I was working in the virtual reality field in the early to mid 1990s. Back then, the displays were either two small LCDs (one for each eye) or small CRTs. Typically, they connected via a really substantial cable to a desktop computer (usually with a special video card that could send dual outputs) or even a Silicon Graphics workstation the size of an end table. Some experimental designs used LCDs from small handheld television sets. (An earlier design from CAE used two big lightvalve projectors that were connected via collimated fiber optic light guides to the headset, which was really heavy.)

I don’t think I ever dreamed that a VR headset would be a newspaper giveaway, or that the display for it would already be in the pockets of millions of people. (I was also amused and astonished at how much Facebook paid to buy Oculus.)

I’ve been put off VR ever since I tried one of those Virtuality headsets that were all the rage in the early 90s. Fucking thing weighed a ton.

I’ve had one for a few months now. It’s a fun little gizmo to glimpse the future of VR, but none of the apps I tried were particularly complex or habit-changing. Mostly fun demos for me and the kids for a couple of weeks, then not much else to do with it.

Honestly, that about sums up virtual reality in general. There’s not much to do with it.

Does it hurt your eyes or give you a feeling of motion sickness like a stereoscope? How does it generate a 3d effect?

Yep, I have one. I’m fiddling with classroom applications for it right now. It’s… neat. “Neat” is really the best way to describe it right now.

Probably the best educational/informational app that I’ve seen for it so far is NYT VR, which is basically just a series of mini documentaries shot with 360 degree cameras. Google Streetview is also cool on it, since you can go to street level view for locations that are cardboard compatible and look around.

Titans of Space is a cool tour of the solar system. The games I’ve played are all pretty rudimentary because they have no controls other than “look around to do stuff.” There’s one called *Diamond Age *or Age of Diamonds that’s a brick-breaking game and is pretty fun for a while.

My eyes do get sore after a little while.

The 3d effect is generated just like a stereoscope. The phone puts up two displays that you look at through a pair of plastic lenses.

Still, it’s neat! It’s a cool proof of concept for what the real VR stuff is going to be like. If you have a phone that’s capable of running the apps, I think it’s worth the 15 bucks. I definitely recommend springing for one of the ones that comes with a headband.

Lost the edit window.

Here’s the one I bought.

I’ve read a few articles about it, but I can’t wrap my head around how putting your phone in a cardboard wrapper is supposed to achieve the results it promises…so no, I don’t own one/it.

What promises would those be? I haven’t heard anything beyond, “hey, here’s a cardboard wrapper that you put your phone in to get an introductory VR experience.”

Nobody has ever marketed this thing as an off-brand Oculus Rift.

It’s not just a cardboard wrapper; there’s also a lens (actually two; one for each eye).

I honestly assumed it was a joke, and then a joke that got turned into a silly product ala ThinkGeek. I didn’t think they were actually developing for it.

I also don’t think my phone can get 60fps, and I’ve read that’s required not to even have a chance to not get motion sickness from a headset device.

And I’m more prone than most to motion sickness. Heck, I have a widescreen monitor but run it at 4:3 because it otherwise takes up too much of my view. (Or I have to sit far enough away that I have to squint.)

If you want something that’s not so flimsy, check out the View-Master kit (here’s their Amazon listing). It’s a plastic enclosure for the phone, so it feels pretty solid. My only complaint is the phone gets quite warm after a while. One of the complaints about the “cardboard” is that cardboard attracts oils from the face and get kind of gunky quickly.

The price difference isn’t too bad, and children might like handling the View-Master better. It even has a wrist strap, but unfortunately no head strap.

Also, I’m teaching an Android class now (actually a second-semester class) and I’d like to here about anyone who’s created some original content.

I got one as a gift from a very good friend of mine who happens to be one of the head developers of the device at Google.

It is fun, and (as mentioned above) it makes for a really nifty introductory experience to VR. Nothing world-shattering, but a truly neat gadget.

I put one on my Xmas wish list and got one.

It is a major letdown.

First, the software thinks my phone has completely different (i.e., fewer) capabilities than it has. It does have the motion detection stuff, but the software thinks it doesn’t so no VR for me.

Second, just trying to find and watch 3D videos is amazingly hard.

I find a nice 3D video on YouTube on my desktop. It’s displayed in side-by-side mode. I load up the same video on my phone, it’s in anaglyph 3D!!?? I have to save the side-by-side video from my computer and transfer it to my phone to properly watch it.

To say that Google doesn’t have its act together in this area is an understatement.

(And the magnetic “View Master” next image button doesn’t work. Not sure if that’s a phone limitation or not.)

Bumping to ask - have these gotten better? Have they gotten bigger, since I’ve got an Xs Max.

I’ve had one for a couple of years. The grandkids like to play with it when they come over. The only real app of any value (IMHO) is the roller coaster one.
However I have noticed that Youtube has a “Watch in VR” option on my phone for a lot of their content (All? I’m not sure).
So in short, It’s ok for watching things, but for a lot of the interactive stuff it’s very limited.

Cardboard was always the entry-level “oh, check this out” thing you can try for $15 or so.

If you’re willing to pay a few hundred bucks, VR tech overall has gotten better, but not dramatically so… better resolution, better comfort, etc.

However, there is one big improvement: the launch of standalone headsets that don’t require a smartphone or PC, just put them on and play. <– for watching movies and light gaming <– for more demanding games

VR games are fun for a bit. It’s neat waving a lightsaber around, or punching stuff, or drawing/sculpting in 3D with magical brushes, or shooting things while being attacked from all directions. But the novelty wears off pretty quick, IMO.

I would suppose there’s also a market for VR porn driving these. And there are, uh, well, interactive accessories. Not that I’d know anything about that :wink:

What would make Cardboard better isn’t necessarily the size of your screen, but the pixel density (the dots per square inch). Unfortunately, that’s not what most phones are designed for anymore, since they’re already sharp enough to view at normal distances. But when you put on Cardboard, the lenses magnify the picture and you can see all the little dots again. And plus, smartphones aren’t nearly as powerful as purpose-built VR systems like gaming desktops or the Quest, so the graphics just aren’t great to begin with. High-quality graphics takes a lot of computing power, several hundred dollars’ worth.

IMO, if you want to try them, just find a Best Buy or Micro Center with a demo station, or see if there are any VR gaming arcades (yeah, they exist) near you. Some Dave & Busters used to have them, for example, and there are some standalone ones that you can pay for by the game or by the hour.