The Android mobile operating system (OS) is already proving a popular platform for virtual reality (VR). The likes of Durvios Dive and Altergaze already offer VR experiences using player’s own smartphones, while the GameFace wireless Android headset features its own processor to act as an unteathered device. Now Android owner Google has revealed its very own VR headset for the platform, albeit in a do-it-yourself fashion.
The company has today revealed its Cardboard VR project, which allows users to experience VR content on their Android smartphone in a fast and inexpensive way. Its essentially a headset made out of cardboard that users create themselves by following a set of instructions. Aside from the base material, users will also need a pair of lenses, which the company acquired from the Durovis OpenDive Lens Kit, magnets, Velcro, a rubber band and an optional NFC tag. Once you have all those parts assembled, you can download a template for the design and create the kit yourself.
On top of the ‘hardware’, the company has also released its own ‘experimental’ software development kit (SDK) for those interested in creating apps for the project. That said, the company has already warned that the SDK won’t be seeing the same support as its core Android SDK.
The final piece of the puzzle is a free Android app that includes a range of samples for the headset. These cary from Earth Flyover, which allows users to fly through 3D areas of Google Earth, a Youtube VR viewer, a 360 Video Viewer, a Street View Tour taking users through a historical site, a 3D Object Viewer, a Photo Sphere Viewer and the Windy Day 3D animation app.
It’s not clear just how much further Google plans to take the Cardboard project, although with the template, samples and SDK already all available, its future is really already in the hands of that that want to work with it. Does this present a threat to the aforementioned Android-based headsets or is it simply something of a distraction for now? VRFocus will continue to follow the project, bringing you all the latest.