Dad! I’m in Tokyo ..

.. screams my six year old. No? Hold on Dad! I’m actually in Venice.

Luckily for me, my son is actually standing in the middle of our lounge. He is in neither in Tokyo nor Venice. He is, though, enjoying the world journey that Google Cardboard is taking him on.

Now I often use Google maps, less so, its Street View tool, and to be honest, I had only recently heard of and had not really come to grips with what Google Cardboard is all about.

So it what was fortunate that I recently attended the DISRUPT:SYDNEY conference, and the welcome gift was an University of Sydney Business School branded Google Cardboard. I have been to a number of conferences over the last decade, and this is by far is the best welcome gift I have ever received. I was thoroughly excited, and could not wait to get home and try it out.

For those new to Google Cardboard, it is a virtual reality (VR – for those in the know) platform developed by, you guessed it, Google for use with a fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone. It is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR and VR applications. Essentially, get kids into it. Well, the evidence is there, my pair love it.

Below shows how the very simple contraption is constructed:

Once the kit is assembled, and as shown above, a smartphone (I used an iPhone 5) is inserted in the back and held in place by the selected fastening device. A Google Cardboard–compatible app (many are free) splits the phone’s display image into two (see above), one for each eye, while also applying barrel distortion to each image to counter pincushion distortion from the lenses. The result is a stereoscopic (“3D”) image with a wide field of view. Get this .. that you can move through. The kids really love it, and to be honest, so do I. Very, very, cool.

On the official Google Cardboard App there are a number of things you can do like explore areas in a number of cities, the Great Barrier Reef, visit a museum, an aircraft hangar, even Mars and check out some ancient artifacts. As one can imagine, the opportunities are endless, and Google is making the most of it with educational programs at schools etc, and why not! There are loads of Google Cardboard Apps to download to, including games.

You can find many forms of Google Cardboard online for a varying prices from $20 to $100, so get yourself a pair and lose yourself in London for a few minutes (unless of course you live there already, then stick your head our of the window for a truly immersive experience).

Loads of fun for all the family.

Have you used one? If so, let me know your thoughts, cool Apps etc.

Thanks for reading,

Kai

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