D.I.Y Google Cardboard: Economical, Cheap & Inexpensive VR Headset

Virtual Reality, VR, Immersive Technology & Simulated Environment

D.I.Y Google Cardboard: Economical, Cheap & Inexpensive VR Headset

When I read about this, I am so damn excited. It is about building your own VR headset by using only cardboard, your smartphone, lenses and few other small stuff. This simple yet great idea comes from Google team where they want more people to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun and a lot cheaper way. They called it simply as “Cardboard“. Below is the picture of how it looks like:

Google Cardboard

Looks simply cool, isn’t it? FYI, this Google Cardboard project was started as a small project by David Coz and Damien Henry at Google Cultural Institute in Paris. But because the results are so awesome and fantastic, the small project is growing bigger and bigger. At last, Google announced about it during its I/O Developer Conference earlier this year. Inspiring story, isn’t it? From what I read, the results are quite a breakthrough for a virtual reality world. For those who have tried it, they gave positive comments where the D.I.Y VR headset was able to provide some good level of immersiveness and sensational feeling if not greater like Oculus Rift.

Perhaps, Google Cardboard is the most economical and inexpensive VR HMD (Head Mounted Display) ever. At least for this moment. The items that you need are cardboard (corrugated cardboard sheet), lenses (recommended Durovis OpenDive Lens Kit), magnets (neodymium ring magnet and ceramic disk magnet), velcro, rubber band, NFC tag and lastly your smartphone (of course). And it works on modern Android phones which run Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or above. You also have to make sure to install the Cardboard Android App from the Google Play. Below is the whole picture of what are required to build one…

Google Cardboard DIY Kits

You might asked, after all the hassle, what are the apps or demos that can work nicely with this cheap VR headset? To name a few, you can try it with “Tuscany Dive“, “SpaceTerrorVR“, “Halls of Fear VR Demo“, “Shadowgun VR“, “Flight VR Demo” and “VR Cinema for Cardboard“. Well, the list definitely will be keep growing dudes…

Space Terror VR
“SpaceTerrorVR” screenshot from Kos Is Working.

Besides, Google Cardboard also provides the VR Toolkit or SDK to enable the developers who are familiar with OpenGL to create their own VR applications. But please be informed that since this SDK is still at an experimental stage, you can’t expect the same level of support as other Android SDKs and libraries.

If you would like to build one for yourself, you can get the all the details, documentation and the Cardboard design templates from its official Google Cardboard website. Or you can go to https://cardboard.withgoogle.com/. Actually, if you don’t want to do all those pizza box cutting, you can just order the easy-to-assemble kits that are already available. Or you can also order the fully assembled one from Unofficial Cardboard. I also must try and do it by myself soon since I’m a little bit adventurous. Perhaps, once I’m done with it, I can share the experience with you guys 🙂


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