Google Cardboard- Jakubowski
By Max Jakubowski
January 30, 2017
Google Cardboard is an interactive, virtual reality experience that can easily be obtained or even built. The goggle type, cardboard mold produces a viewer that is easily computability with almost everyone smart phone. Google Cardboard combines different viewer types with a plethora of apps and VR and 3D videos to enhance the experience. The cardboard comes with a head mount to attach the phone for an optimal viewing experience. The Google Cardboard–divides the phone digital display into two sides, one for each eye, while also applying barrel distortion through the lenses. This translation of the image then makes the video seem “3D” to the user.
To use the Google cardboard, users run VR compatible applications on their phone, place the phone into the back of the viewer, and view content through the lenses. Users can even build their own VR viewer from simple materials, which is outlined through Google and other websites.
I had 11 students test out Google Cardboard, with mostly positive results. Many of the students commented on how there were so many terrific VR videos to choose from and the viewing process was great on the viewer. YouTube was the app most of the students chose to find their VR video to watch and interact with. The students enjoyed how the phone, app, and cardboard all interacted seamlessly with one another, providing for a fabulous viewing experience.
While Google Cardboard brought rave reviews from the students who experimented with it, almost every student had suggestions to improve the product. One suggested that Google work on a headset and earphones that could be combined with the product to make the VR video even more immersive. Some complained about cardboard material and said the device could have been manufactured with sturdier material to make the goggles last longer. One student had difficulties with her larger phone, an IPhone 6 +, as the phone could not be strapped in all the way with the goggles. Another suggestion was that the goggles could eventually be integrated with social media apps, like Snapchat or Instagram, to make a collaborative technology that combines popular features from today’s social media applications. One final feedback was how a central database for all 3D and VR videos would make it easier to find a specific video the viewer was looking for.
Like mentioned above, I think the collaborations between social media apps and the Google Cardboard could become the next big thing in social media. VR headsets like Google Cardboard would be able to interact with one another, specifically through social media platforms. Google has already announced a successor to Google Cardboard, Daydream. This new VR platform with operate on an Android software and provide earphones and a controller for a more interactive experience, along with better latency and graphics.
Once upon a time, there was a college student who loved the world of virtual reality.
He loved to hang out and try all the different VR technology apps along with watching 3D videos. He spent all his time in the Innovation Lab, trying to consume as much VR as he could.
One day, he was trying the VR device that was compatible with the Samsung Galaxy, the lab phone suddenly died. He wished there was a VR headset device that could work with every type of phone, specifically his IPhone.
However, he knew that VR technology usually only exists in either one type of software (Apple or Android) and not cross platform devices. Plus, all these devices typically were very expensive for a college student.
He searched everywhere for an inexpensive VR headset that was universally compatible with all types of phones and tablets.
Finally, he found Google cardboard, a device that worked on all devices, was affordable, and could be used or transported anywhere.
Now, the student is able to experience VR anytime and anywhere at the ease of his smartphone and his Google Cardboard.
The Matrix below outlines a VR/3D video database that users can easily search and find the videos they want to watch during their VR experience. This suggestion was made during my focus group, with the complaint that there were so many video options on YouTube, that at times it was overwhelming. The product idea is presented in tablet and IPhone wireframe layouts, along with a corresponding matrix structure.