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Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is a device for turning your phone in to a VR headset. When combined with headphones it’s pretty immersive.

If you haven’t yet, buy a Google Cardboard unit at amazon or eBay. eBay units can be had cheaper, around $2 but can take forever to ship from Hong Kong. Mine was $1.80 and took 3 weeks to arrive.

Or, get one free from Lowes:

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Lowes have a vending machine next to some iPads. You can use the iPads to design your perfect kitchen and then get a free cardboard unit dispensed. Download the app, login and you can view that kitchen in 3D as if you’re there. Luckily my local Lowes is one of the few with these units – maybe they’re hoping that nobody will notice in rural Colorado.

You’re going to see more people give these things away for free like the NYT did recently.

The experiences available via the VRSE app and others are pretty mind-blowing. Most are short 3-6 minute video productions using bubble cameras that put you in the middle of the action. You can look all around and pretty quickly lose connection with reality – great for flights.

The cost of VR hardware is now zero but the content is going to be a while in coming. There’s some great tasty treats out there and we’ll get to the point of paying money at some point for longer works I’m sure, including games and education.

I’ve used an Oculus DK2 and honestly, it’s not worth it compared to the cardboard unit. The DK2 may have slightly better specs but frankly who cares when the tradeoff is adoption. A DK2 costs real money and needs to be hooked up to a PC, cardboard means anyone can get started with a device that practically everyone owns – your phone.

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