Attendees at Google’s I/O developer conference on Wednesday and Thursday were expecting the latest of Google’s high-tech devices and software. What they weren’t expecting was a cardboard box.
Google Cardboard is the tech giant’s latest attempt at virtual reality, Gizmodo reports. The design is incredibly simple: A make-it-at-home goggle-like viewer made from cardboard and velcro holding an Android phone running the Cardboard app.
The viewer can be made from common materials easily found online or in a hardware store. The Cardboard website provides detailed instructions for assembling the box.
Using the app, users can experience an interactive animated story, watch YouTube videos, and explores cities and landmarks through Google Earth and Street View. Google has also provided a toolkit for developers to create their own virtual reality software for use with Cardboard.
While the quality is naturally not up to par with the latest in virtual reality tech, Gizmodo’s Brent Rose, who had the opportunity to test Cardboard, said it was comparable to the first version of Oculus Rift — the virtual reality device recently acquired by Facebook.
According the Cardboard website, the viewer was created by a pair of Google employees as a side project, but was pursued in an effort to make virtual reality more accessible.