The apps currently available are gimmicky, fiddly and somewhat buggy so to see Google putting some dedicated work into this area will hopefully mean more accessible and affordable virtual reality applications.
After all, we don’t all have US$600 to hand over for an Oculus Rift (source Gamespot)!
Check this out, The Rufus Project is now the proud owner of the most low tech VR device on the market!
Yep, this little beauty is a Google Cardboard VR headset, probably the cheapest option available on the burgeoning virtual reality market.
Coming in a flat pack it is easy to assemble and can fit a wide range of phones which act as the screen. The compatible apps use a straightforward Side By Side (SBS) screen.
The 3D effect is immersive and surprisingly effective since all I splurged was a measly AUD$8.
I can’t say it’s all smooth sailing as the view in some of the apps I’ve tried tends to drift or, in the more graphically intense games, jump to a different view point altogether!
That second issue may be due to not having a beefy enough phone (currently using an Xperia Z2) so I may have to narrow my selection to what my phone can handle.
A fun use is to install a SBS video app meaning any movies you view can be converted for use with the headset. I tested this with an episode of The Flash and the faux 3D effect worked quite well. However, having a strip of cardboard pressed into my nose for that length of time got a bit uncomfortable.
So if you want to dabble in virtual reality, without forking out some of the big dollars being asked out for the more advanced options, Google Cardboard offers a cheap and effective entry point. Just don’t expect a seamless experience.