Google launched is first VR Cardboard headset way back 2014. It proved to be a low-cost entry point for consumers to get their first experience of virtual reality, but it was purely for android. The company’s iPhone version came later- and with that, the world could experience the wonder of VR without taking out a second mortgage to buy a headset. Throw in any number of free apps and VR became immediately accessible to the masses- that’s you and me. Now, with over 10m units shipped, the market has real traction and Google’s gamble on this new technology is paying off.
Where is the big guy?
Google has staked its claim in the VR market and made its commitment to that market crystal clear. Meanwhile, Apple has done… nothing. To this day, there is no dedicated Apple VR headset. Given that the market is still very young, but consistently growing; given that the market is now, surely, proven- why? It’s certainly not like Apple to leave competitors to exploit its existing hardware. Well, rumour has it, that Apple are now in the game. A recent slew of patent applications and some recent hires in the VR field, certainly suggest that something is going on. How long we’ll have to wait to find out is anyone’s guess, but until then, there is only really one game in town for low-cost, quality VR on the iPhone; it’s got to be Google Cardboard.
How it works
It’s just the same as for Android, really; as in, dead simple. Basically, just launch the VR app with a quick tap, pop your iPhone into the headset and then strap that headset onto your face. You will get the full-on virtual reality experience using your iPhone; just the same as all your mates have been doing with their smartphones. All you need is the viewer and the apps to access the content. Make sure you get version 2 of Google Cardboard, since there are quite a few apps that won’t work well with version 1 (version 2 has a silver trigger finger where version 1’s trigger is magnetic). Also, go for the nose padding option and with the overhead strap, not just the side straps, you’ll find it’s much more comfortable- and an indented nose is not a good look for anyone.
As yet, there aren’t as many apps that are compatible with Google Cardboard and the iPhone as there are for Android users. But never fear, more and more are being released almost daily. For example, Google Cardboard Camera is one of the more recent additions to its portfolio for iPhone. Enabling the viewer to create their own 3D 360 degree panoramas and then to share them via email or social media or just phone-to-phone. Likewise, Google streetview, loads of stuff on YouTube and any number of newbies hitting the market all the time. So, don’t worry about apps for iPhone playing catch-up; they are already catching-up.