We have recently completed the production of a Google Tour for the CTI Digital office, located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. If you have not been abreast of technological advancements over the past year, you may be unaware of the emerging trend in virtual reality, specifically Google Cardboard.
Google Cardboard: Affordable Virtual Reality for the Masses
Google Cardboard represents Google’s entry into the domain of Virtual Reality (VR). Unlike more expensive solutions from Oculus or Samsung, Google Cardboard offers an affordable alternative, constructed from cardboard. This device is designed to accommodate a high-definition smartphone screen, be it iPhone or Android, enabling users to immerse themselves in a virtual reality experience at a cost of less than ten British Pounds.
The product is delivered as a pre-scored, flat sheet of cardboard, complete with printed assembly instructions. The device can be assembled in a matter of minutes, following the straightforward guidelines. Upon completion, you are provided with a housing unit into which your smartphone can be inserted. The virtual reality experience commences once you secure the headset and explore a three-dimensional interface.
Recently, Google has incorporated the Cardboard feature into its widely-used Google Maps application. When perusing locations that offer the “see inside” function, an icon appears on the screen. Upon selecting this icon, users have the opportunity to place their smartphones into the Google Cardboard headset, subsequently experiencing the selected location through virtual reality.
Now here’s where the fun starts….
We took a selection of various headsets which accommodate various sizes of phones to CTI Digital with the fun aim of seeing how easy it would be to navigate around the office using nothing but the Google Street View projection of the office inside the headset. Using the magnetic “switch” on the left of the headset you can progress one step at a time through the virtual world version of the office. By moving your body left and right you can rotate your view around the virtual world creating a seamless walkthrough around the world too.
So how far can you go walking around an office virtually using nothing but a virtual reality headset? Well…. not very far as we found out. But it was a lot of fun trying anyway!