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Making Apps for Google Cardboard

Right, so you have decided to take the plunge. You’re going to use the exciting world of virtual reality to take your business messages out to the world- or at least to your market. You are going to get a load of Custom Google Cardboard headsets with your branding and your core messages. So, how can you really improve on that? You are giving your potential clients something of real value. You are giving your potential clients entry into a whole new technology and a whole new experience. How could that get any better –for you or for them?
Well, the short answer to that is…easily. Because it is easy.

When you give them the Google Cardboard headset, you could include an app that you or your company has put together yourselves. You’ll not only enhance your image, you’ll enhance your message- and help to keep the contact ongoing, since you’ll promise them more apps in the future.

But how do you create an app?

1) Well, the first thing is to decide on what your message is to be. What are you trying to convey? What do you want the potential client to take-away from the experience? Are you taking them on a journey through your service? ‘A day in the life’ of your product being used?

For the first few times, don’t be too ambitious- the technology is impressive enough, just keep it simple and you won’t mess it up.

2) Then you need a story-line or a script. If you’re going to do a voice-over, explaining what’s happening, for example, get it all written down and say it out loud until you’re happy with it and it sounds natural.

3) Now decide the images you’re going to need and where you are going to get them. They can be full-on virtual reality or 3D stills. It all depends on what works best for the experience you are looking to create.

4) A lot of phones, nowadays, have 360 degree camera capability. For your first shot, that will probably do for you, but dedicated stand-alone 360 cameras give much better image quality, so if you decide you like this way of marketing, buy one. They come in a range of prices, so there’s nothing that needs to break the bank.

5) Go and take your shots. Make sure you check them before you leave each location. You really want to avoid any retaking on another day. The light quality might be different, the environment might have changed. It’s called ‘continuity’ in the movie business and it’s an easy thing to get wrong. So, if you have a blurry image or something hasn’t quite come out as you’d intended, do the re-take at the time not later.

6) So, now you have all the raw materials for your app, you just need to hook it all together. There are a number of great apps for Google Cardboard and many of them are free. Just make sure you get one that is web browser based, involves no coding and that it includes an authoring tool that allows drag and drop. This will simplify and speed-up the process considerably.

7) Once you have messed around with the editing and ‘authoring’ to your heart’s content, the thing is ready to publish. You can either send it out as an app, or send it to a phone, which can then send it on to others. (So, your potential client will need to give you his mobile number in order for you to send through the app- which is a great way of getting contact information!)

There you go. As I said…easy. Google Cardboard will swiftly become the best marketing friend that you’ve got.

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