Google Cardboard is a low-cost cardboard-made virtual reality headset designed for mass market consumers

Country: United Statescardboard
Year: 2014

  • Customer courtesy: a bank or insurance could offer Google Cardboards to customers, especially if it creates (or provides through partners) a service that is enhanced by immersion.

Concept

  • Google Cardboard is a virtual reality headset, initially launched by Google and copied by many companies, that is made of cardboard, two 40mm lenses, a magnetic push button to trigger in-app actions, Velcro band, and a dedicated space behind the lenses to insert a smartphone into. The Cardboard uses the magnetic push button to establish communication with the smartphone.
  • Users can buy Google Cardboard online or build their own VR headset following the pattern and detailed assembly drawings provided online.
  • The Google Cardboard-compatible apps (mostly games, videos or 3D tours) split the display image into two identical parts and the lenses create a distortion effect, giving the impression of a stereoscopic 3D image with a wide field of view. The smartphone tracks head movements. For instance, the free smartphone Cardboard app (Android only as of April 2016), available in 39 languages in 100 countries, allow users to visit a part of Versailles royal castle, stare at art pieces from any perspective, watch videos as if sitting in a movie theater, and fly upon the Earth. 5 million Cardboards have been shipped.
  • The New York Times offered its subscribers 1 million Google Cardboards to watch immersive medium-length documentaries developed along with its partner VRSE (360° video company).

Consumer Benefits

  • DIY set-up: Google Cardboard requires less than a minute to be assembled.
  • Mass market: the used material (thick cardboard) allows to produce VR headsets at a low price and enables anyone to experience VR.
  • Developer tool: developers can use Google Cardboard as a support tool to test their VR apps.

How to use

  • Users order their Google Cardboard online or build their own (purchasing cardboard, lenses, magnets, Velcro at a hardware store) and download VR apps on their smartphone.
  • Once they have received the Cardboard, they fold it according to the user guide printed on it or using the assembly drawings available online.
  • Users launch a VR app on their smartphone, scan the QR code of their Cardboard to link it with their smartphone, insert the latter into the dedicated space of the Cardboard, and put it on to dive into VR.

Illustration

  • Google I/O Cardboard Demo by TechCrunch