Google Cardboard + Movies + Apps review

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Google Cardboard + VR Apps review

What is Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR) platform developed by 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.
Put Simply it turns your phone into a 3D VR machine! It allows you to view 3D Films, 360 degree videos and entire VR Worlds for just a few pounds.
All you need is a Phone, Google Cardboard application and a Headset viewer (the google cardboard ones are cheap and available from Amazon, eBay or direct from Google).

 

Our Experience with Google Cardboard

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We simply fell in love with VR when we tested out the HTC Vive and Oculus at EGX this year.  VR has now got to the point where it can have real world applications.

So, upon our return home we started looking up what we could do to keep us entertained until the real beasts are released next year, so we decided we would hit up Google Cardboard! It was love at first sight!(See what we did there).

The Good Stuff (Pros)

The Google Cardboard definitely fills the gap while we wait for the pro headsets to hit the market. The Google Cardboard is;

  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to set up
  • Has lots of native applications
  • Uses existing mobile technology

The Bad Stuff (Cons)
When we first received our Google Cardboard headset we had a few teething issues. One was my big fat nose, these headsets are designed for you pretty people with smaller noses so I popped out my trusty carving knife and went to town on it! I expanded the nose bridge deeper and wider and this resolved a lot of the issues. The next issue I had was that my eyes are close together meaning my right eye was very blurry, I had to move the right lens about 2MM to the left and it cleared right up!

Personally I got quite a lot of eye strain but no motion sickness, I think this is down to the lens and angle of the screen not the technology itself! I am currently awaiting on a better headset, they have a few different headsets on the market(a little less cheap but a more long term solution).

Watching Movies with Google Cardboard

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Watching 3D movies has become mainstream in the last few years but this requires a 3D TV / 3D Cinema + 3D Glasses.

The Google Cardboard movie experience is very different.  You pop on your movie then insert your phone into the headset and you’re good to go. Not to mention because it’s in VR you can use apps like the Cardboard Theater to make it feel like you’re in a cinema.

The main issue with VR Movies is that they are often in different standards designed for different devices from a multitude of publishers. However there are some great apps that solve this problem below!

Best VR Player with Google Cardboard

 
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VR Player FREE
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SpherePlay
Free   

By far this is the most feature rich VR Player on the market. They provide a free offering and a paid one.  I used the free offering for about 30 minutes until I decided to invest in the paid version.  Not only can it play 2D, 3D Side by Side, 32 Over/Under it also allows you to change the VR Effect from Plane (flat), Sphere, Dome (most media fits this), Full dome, Cube and Cylinder. On top of that it even lets you edit some advanced settings that other players just do not have! They have delivered over 2 MILLION immersive playback and LIVE VR experiences so far through their VR Player (and still counting).

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We have spoken to Vimersiv about VR Player and they have informed us of a very exciting re-branding to SpherePlay! With the re-brand they will be adding lots of extra features such as a VR Menu system (for ease of use), Social Aspects and much more. We will be doing a review on that over the coming weeks!

Best VR Apps with Google Cardboard

After getting Google Cardboard we started looking into the world of VR Applications on the Play store. There is now a huge selection to pick from so we installed a bunch of them and picked the best ones so you don’t have to! We will list our top 5 here but we have done a full review on most applications in our other blog post here. We have not included any that require controllers or Google magnet button.

 
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Titans of Space® Cardboard VR
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DrashVR LLC
Free   

Titans of Space, is an exploratory and educational app that flies you around our solar system and gives you some information about the surrounding planets. The graphics of the planets are very detailed and the size is to scale.

Titans features a beautiful sound track, 50 minutes of narration (through the paid version). If you are just getting started with VR applications then this is a fantastic addition to your library.

 
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Lost In The Kismet - VR Escape
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fast Company
Free   

Lost In The Kismet is a great game. It is a room escape game which fully utilizes VR to control the puzzles and escape from the rooms.  The game is quite eerie and gives a pretty cramped feeling when playing! Our one and only criticism of this game is it’s a little short. It would be great if it had expansions as it only takes about 5 – 10 minutes to complete but do not be fooled, this one is worth downloading.

 
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Space Explorer VR
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ChaosShark
Free   

This is an interactive space exploring game. You walk around your ship and you can control it towards planets, speed up, slow down, pan, tilt etc all from looking at the controls in the cockpit. This feels quite natural to control and after just a few minutes you’ll be exploring space!

 
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Lamper Cardboard: First Flight
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Archiact
Free   

A really quick, easy and fun game. You play a firefly bug that has to flee through a series of  treacherous tunnels and these are fun to fly around and have a real sense of depth to them (given it’s all cartoon style). This is really worth a download.

 
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Village for Google Cardboard
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Oleksandr Popov
Free   

Village for Google Cardboard. In this app you fly around a village and can look around. The graphics are pretty good for a mobile and I can’t help but compare it to the World of Warcraft game as the graphics are very similar to the original version. It’s easy to imagine how this could form a cool RPG or MMORPG.

 

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Dale Hudson

Director at Fragers Ltd
Has a keen interest in Video games, technology and loves to be on the forefront of new developing tech! Currently a director for Fragers Ltd offering game services throughout Europe.

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Fragers Ltd. 2018