There are plenty of mobile-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMD) in the world right now. While products such as Altergaze and the Durovis Dive kicked off the concept of using a smartphone as a display and computing device for VR experiences, Samsung has popularised it with its Gear VR HMD, which works with the company’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. But before Samsung stole the headlines, Google made a splash of its own with the Cardboard VR DIY HMD. The device clearly struck a chord with Oculus VR’s John Carmack, who recently labelled it as ‘a wonderful thing’.
Carmack said as much as a side note to his keynote at the ongoing Oculus Connect developer conference in Hollywood, California today. He praised the device, which allows people to fold a piece of cardboard to a set of instructions, add lenses and slot in a smartphone for a unique makeshift HMD. According to Carmack, the Google Cardboard VR has been great for VR publicity overall and allowed Google itself to get away from being judged as a consumer product as Oculus VR’s development kits for the Oculus Rift so often are.
It’s certainly interesting to hear Carmack, who has spent much of 2014 working on mobile VR with Gear VR, praising what could in some respects be considered a rival product. Of course, it’s not clear what the future holds of Cardboard VR, although it seems destined to stay as an interesting oddity more than anything else. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all VR HMDs, reporting back with the further updates.