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Google’s Cardboard Turns Your Android Device Into A Virtual Reality Headset

Submitted by on July 4, 2014 – 5:35 pmNo Comment

Google Cardboard

Download Design file for Cardboard

Virtual reality has made exciting progress over the past several years. However, developing for VR still requires expensive, specialized hardware. Thinking about how to make VR accessible to more people, a group of VR enthusiasts at Google experimented with using a smartphone to drive VR experiences. The result is Cardboard, a no-frills enclosure that transforms a phone into a basic VR headset, and the accompanying open software toolkit that makes writing VR software as simple as building a web or mobile app.

Cardboard is a way to create an Oculus Rift-like virtual reality viewer with your Android smartphone. Users can put together their Cardboard kits – which contains corrugated cardboard, some lenses, magnets, two strips of velcro and a rubber band. Put it together – along with your Android smartphone – and this is what you get.

You can build your own using these design files download from above.

Build your own

Construct a VR viewer from everyday items you can find in your garage, online or at your local hardware store. Here’s what you need to get started:

Google Cardboard

1. Cardboard: Corrugated cardboard sheet, preferably E Flute (corrugated cardboard comes in a variety of thicknesses called “flutes”), available at many art supply stores and online . For best results, you should look for strong, thin cardboard (sturdy shoe box rather than moving box). Minimum size: 8.75in (22cm) by 22in (56cm), and 0.06in (1.5mm) thickness.

2. Lenses: This is the trickiest component. Lenses that have a 45mm focal distance might work. Biconvex lenses work best because they prevent distortion around the edges. We used the Durovis OpenDive Lens Kit available here (US) and here (EU).

3. Magnets: One neodymium ring magnet – like this or this – and one ceramic disk magnet – like this or this. Approximate size: 0.75in (19mm) diameter and 0.12in (3mm) thickness.

4. Velcro: Two strips of regular strength adhesive-backed velcro. Approximate size: 0.75in (20mm) by 1.25in (30mm).

5. Rubber band: One rubber band, to prevent the phone from sliding out. Minimum length of 3.2in (8cm).

6. NFC tag (optional): One sticker NFC tag. Program it with the URL cardboard://v1.0.0

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