Google’s Cardboard mobile virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) has come a long way since its reveal in 2014. The DIY device has proved to be an effective means of getting VR into the hands of just about anyone, made from simple materials and relying on the owner’s own smartphone as a display, processor and head-tracker. The original version has inspired many iterations, some of which are even officially recognised by Google itself. Now it’s been revealed that even Microsoft has its own version of the cardboard concept in VR Kit.
Thurrott has spotted an advert for this previously unseen device promoting an upcoming Microsoft hackathon in Moscow, Russia on 17th October 2015. According to a translated page, this competition is looking for VR videogames as well as both educational and corporate use apps that use the device. Unlike other Cardboard devices, which usually support both Android and iOS operating systems (OSs), apps developed here will obviously be using Microsoft’s own Windows OS for its Lumia handsets.
Microsoft is of course working on its own mixed reality (VR) HMD in the form of HoloLens, a device that mixes both VR and augmented reality (AR) by displaying virtual objects within the real world. It’s surprising, then, to see the company also trying its hand a low-end mobile VR, though perhaps necessary given the lack of VR support for its own mobile OS at this point in time. It doesn’t appear that the company is yet making the VR Kit available for all to build or at least purchase online, but perhaps it may do so in the future.
VRFocus will continue to follow Microsoft’s work in VR closely, reporting back with any further updates from the company.