A long time ago in a galaxy far away, before Samsung had released their GearVR, there was…Google Cardboard. Then Google Cardboard’s VR Park V1 came out. And it was made of plastic. So, Google Cardboard now had a version made of plastic. This was a little confusing, but we stuck with it and the product rated well and helped cement Google’s placement at the sharper end of the virtual reality movement. Now we have Google’s VR Park V3 and plastic is certainly the way to go for many who like Cardboard. Confused yet?
Okay, so we have a Google Cardboard headset made of plastic- dubbed plastiboard by a few, particularly, unfunny commentators in the VR review community- but who listens to them, anyway, eh? If you look back at previous versions and then look at the V3, well, there’s not really much of a noticeable difference. It’s almost like, ‘’why would you bother?’’
It fits the standard screen sizes between 4 and 6 inches, has adjustable those standard optics and, of course, is compatible with all those wonderful Google Cardboard compatible apps. The decals have changed and the face padding is a bit more robust and the head-strap is a bit more comfortable. Does that warrant a new ‘version’ tag? Well, actually, yes it does. Not only does it look better; it’s more comfortable. And any improvement is an improvement and, besides, the improvements aren’t all visible from the outside.
Out of Sight
Firstly, that much-maligned face padding is actually really good. The headset really is appreciably more comfortable to wear than earlier versions and that alone justifies its version 3 tag. But there are, also, a few neat little extras that will make life a lot easier and more secure as you enter your virtual definition habitat.
Before, the optical adjustments were made with a dial positioned under the head-strap, which was not the most convenient of positions. Now there is an additional dial to control focus depth, greatly increasing the viewer image experience and ease of use.
However, the most significant improvement is in the physical security of the phone itself. The headset has a spring-loaded holder for the phone. The front door of the headset is positioned in such a way that the phone is securely gripped by an inner bracket. This feature is further enhanced by a second inner door, which also secures the phone solidly in position, once it has been clicked into place. So, whatever the gymnastics you get up to in your virtual world, the VR Park VR3 is not going to allow that phone to fall out of position while you’re using it. And the whole thing is ensconced in foam, so to minimize any chance of it getting scratched or scuffed.
So, there you have it, the latest version in the Google Cardboard stable, the VR Park V3; continuing innovation in the world of virtual reality plastic. What more can you say?