Putting our hands on Google Cardboard
We’d like to give our opinion about the Google gadget we just had the change to try out: the Cardboard.
The term “augmented reality” might not be as astonishing today as it was a couple years ago, but its capacity to give us new sensations is undeniable as it always translates to smiles of awe and leave us wanting more.
But, ¿What is augmented reality?
Simple, it’s adding fictitious interaction in a real life environment.
There are some devices with a lot of effort put onto them, but they have not gained a lot of popularity yet, maybe because they’re hard to use or too bulky. In order to jump into a virtual reality seamlessly, a lot of precision and some real time processing is required, so it’s not an easy task. Sensors like accelerometers, gyroscopes and even GPS’s available to the public at accessible costs, are not good enough.
Speaking of videogames, just a few had the chance to try out the Nintendo Virtual Boy, something very advanced for its time in 1995 and expensive to produce; that, together with scarce games, was not well received. Nowadays, the Oculus Rift is the device with the biggest popularity of all, best usability, more development and yes! it is quite fun. With a price of $350 USD you probably think it’s expensive. And it’s also expensive for developers, because of software licenses. You maybe have also thought, there must be another lighter, cheaper, simpler gadget, wireless and biodegradable. And yep, even though it’s not the only one of its kind, Google has put at your disposition the Cardboard.
What do you need?
You need the “magic little box” from Google at a price not higher than $20 USD, and of course, an Android device.
What can you do with it?
You don’t require a team of engineers or artists. All you need is go to the Play Store and look for the term “cardboard” and then it’s just a matter of choosing the search result you like.
We just had our art exhibited a couple days ago, and there we had the chance to show one of the 3D scenes of our upcoming game, Mulaka. A very simple setting: a cave, a creature, and the user looking at everything through the Cardboard.
We did some tests with different devices and not all worked completely well due to calibration, dimension or version problems. We believe that’s the main issue with Cardboard: compatibility. So we’d like to thank a couple of friends for lending us their Android devices which luckily worked perfectly:
@ and his Galaxy S5
@ and his Oneplus One
We leave you with an image of the tests we did, still with details to polish, but done in just 4 hours.