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Google Cardboard is going to change the world

I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed it, but one of the most revolutionary products that Google has created is set to change the world.  That product is Google Cardboard – here is why.

lady with Google CardboardGoogle cardboard was released a little over a year ago to virtually no fanfare at Google IO 2014 It was a side project by one of the Google teams in Paris at the Google Cultural Institute  who were looking to build a low cost Virtual Reality headset.

Virtual reality is a bit of “buzz wordy” term which describe the technologies that enable people to experience alternative realities using digital technology in a compelling and immersive way.

Already there are competitors from other large companies:

Facebook has Oculus Rift, the wildly popular headset which is due out later this year.

Sony have prepped their addition to their Game Console dubbed Project Morpheus which is due out 2016

Google Cardboard enters the picture

Then Google came in with Cardboard(https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/)  which retails at £3.99 ( yes really, it costs less than a price of a coffee).Google Cardboard unofficial

In contrast the other companies – Google have also persued a somewhat unorthodox strategy. They have made the entire hardware platform open source and thus available to all.  Google have made the specifications on how to manufacture a cardboard device accessible to any manufacturer who wants it so already companies are producing their own versions of Google Cardboard  which are compatible with the Cardboard Standard.

Google Cardboard in the Wild

Google hopes that by making it available cheaply there will be some great ways that developers will find to use the new form factor to  help take digital to the next level.

Google Cardboard 3d viewHere are some ideas for how its being used:

  1. William Hill Labs – have created an immersive horse racing game where you can experience what its like be a jockey riding your favorite horse in an actual race using a combination of GPS and Google Cardboard.
  2. Youtube have released their own 360 degree video channel which lets you experience a fully immersive video – where you can look all around and experience what its like to be there.  Check out their #360 channel ( https://www.youtube.com/360) which is currently sitting at over 200,000 subscribers strong

Google CardboardHere are my ideas:

  1. A virtual fly through tourist guide.   Whilst you are on the plane on the way to your chosen holiday location- use Google Virtual Reality Maps to let you fly through the top locations so you can know what to expect before you get there. A Tourist guide like Fodors has never been so exciting.
  2. 3D casino with live dealers- bring out the slots, roll out the roulette and bring the poker tables to life using virtual reality. Nothing can bring alight the excitement more than using 3d roulette on a netbet online casino”  They already do live dealers- now the rest of the casino needs to come to life.
  3. A virtual Shop- why do all shopping sites have to look the same?  Why not have a virtual shop where models can walk past showing the clothes using 3d video and you can browse the rails by just looking around.  ( Virtual Sales assistants should be optional though – especially if its a car show room)  They will really bring the excitement of a great shop like Selfridges to life.

I hope you are as excited as I am about this brilliant future where digital can create amazing experiences that can take you just about anywhere thanks to something simple like Google Cardboard.

For more information or if you want to roll your own application for Google Cardboard – check out the Cardboard SDK

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