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The New York Times has a VR movie app, and is giving away Google Cardboard this weekend

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Google really wants more people to experience virtual reality movie viewing, and has partnered with The New York Times to distribute a million Google Cardboard VR viewers, through which wearers can watch specially produced films using the NYT VR app. How will people get their viewers? If you’re a home subscriber, then one will fall through your mailbox with the weekend copy of the newspaper on November 7.

Updated on 11-05-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in links to the NYT’s VR movie app, plus links to the accompanying printed stories.

Times Insiders aren’t being left out, and along with a selection of digital subscribers — it’s not clear how this group will be selected — they will get a promotional code by email in the near future, ready to redeem for a free Cardboard viewer. Content will be shown through the NYT VR app, which has been released for both Android and iOS. Despite Cardboard being a Google creation, an iPhone can easily be slotted into the holder. The app for iOS can be downloaded from here, and the Android version from here.

The New York Times already has three films ready for the VR app, the first of which is called The Displaced, followed by a behind-the-scenes look at how an NYT Magazine cover is created, and an unnamed third film scheduled for release in December. The Displaced has been made for VR, and shows the story of three children living as refugees in South Sudan, Ukraine, and Syria. More films are planned for 2016.

There are three written stories to go with the Displaced VR film. Hana from Lebanon’s tale can be read here, Chuol from South Sudan here, and Oleg from Ukraine’s story is here.

Google Cardboard was announced back in June 2014, and has since been updated by the company to make it easier to construct, and with a larger aperture for a wider selection of smartphones. Many apps are available through the dedicated Cardboard section in the Google Play Store, including Street View. If you’re not an NYT subscriber, but still want to watch the films, Google provides links to a wide variety of low-cost versions of Cardboard to pick up here.

Article originally published on 10-20-2015

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