Google updated its quirky Cardboard virtual reality viewer. The question is, how do you update something made out of cardboard? Well, the viewer remains the same, but everything around it has been given some love. Revealed at Google I/O, more than 500,000 viewers have since been shipped, and the unusual build-it-yourself VR device is gradually taking on a life of its own.
The most important news for Cardboard users is the announcement of a dedicated app, plus a special Collections page inside the Google Play Store. The Collections page gathers together all the apps compatible with Cardboard, making it far easier to find fun VR apps quickly. More than 25 apps are listed, including games, art programs, and interactive, immersive demos.
Google’s Cardboard app also puts many of the demos and compatible apps in one place. With the Cardboard app, you check out any Photo Sphere images you’ve taken, or watch content taken from Google Earth and YouTube. Additionally, there’s a guided tour of Versailles, a trip through Paris on a summer day, and a chance to look at unnamed cultural exhibits from any angle. Google has also included the motion-controlled Windy Day interactive story, which gained attention earlier this year.
To show its commitment to VR, and to making Cardboard more than just a bit of fun, Google has also released a software development kit to help make creating VR apps easier. Additionally, it released new plans for building your own Cardboard viewer, and next year, will update the SDK with more tools to ensure these units can be properly calibrated.
If you don’t have a Cardboard viewer, you can buy one, or download the instructions on how to make one yourself from here. You’ll need a compatible Android phone, such as the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, or Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5.