Google is bringing virtual reality to Android phones with cardboard — literally.
The Cardboard project is Google’s attempt to bring inexpensive VR to its operating system using items you can find around home or buy at a hardware store or order online. Those include actual pieces of cardboard (an extra large pizza box will do), lenses, magnets, velcro, a rubber band and, if you like, an near-field communications (NFC) tag, which will launch Cardboard automatically. Combine those ingredients with a ruler, glue, scissors and an X-acto knife, and you’ve got yourself a makeshift virtual reality headset. Detailed instructions are available on the Cardboard corner of Google’s developer site.
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Google’s Cardboard project is a great summer DIY activity for youth, and an inexpensive way to bring VR experiences into the classroom. With creative, economical solutions like this it won’t be long before immersive VR experiences are a part of our everyday lives. Below are a list of Google platforms viewable in virtual reality using the Cardboard App with the DIY cardboard viewer:
• Earth: Fly where your fancy takes you on Google Earth.
• Tour Guide: Visit Versailles with a local guide.
• YouTube: Watch popular YouTube videos on a massive screen.
• Exhibit: Examine cultural artifacts from every angle.
• Photo Sphere: Look around the photo spheres you’ve captured.
• Street View: Drive through Paris on a summer day.
• Windy Day: Follow the story (and the hat) in this interactive animated short from Spotlight Stories
Related Topics & Educational Resources:
Virtual Boy Scouts Earn Merit Badge at Smithsonian LVM
Why is Immersive Education Important?
Immersive Technology: Oculus Rift
Céramica de Los Ancestros 3D Basecamp
Eco Explorers 3D Interactive Games
Connect with the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on Twitter and Instagram @Smithsonian_LVM and become a part of our growing online community. Learn more about the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum on the Latino.si.edu website and view more of our cultural and educational resources.
This might be the only way I’ll be able to afford to test and create using the Oculus Rift technology. This could be an interesting project my students though! Hmmm…..I’ll keep you posted.