Okay…So everyone is talking about Virtual Reality (VR) being the next big thing since facebook had its Million dollar deal with Oculus, the company that is doing substantial work in this area.
The controversy’s child of Indian corporate world AKA Rahul Yadav has also recently mentioned venturing into VR in a very “Big Way” Probably this time they would say ” look in ”
One thing is for sure, VR surely is something everyone is looking at. As I am into the business of creating imagery and videos its something that I should be aware of. A little research on google showed a lot of options from the Samsung’s to the Sony’s and of course Oculus all priced between INR10K – 15K or higher. But then you have “Google Cardboard” at INR 350 ! too good to believe, but when you see its picture and simplicity for the first time you realize its one of those ” why the hell didnt I think of it ” moments. Without a second wasted I ordered one from Flipkart. There are plenty of options that look sturdy some even made of plastic priced at INR 1000 and above, but hey, Google gave it the name cardboard, its suppose to be cheap and thats where its beauty lies. Obviously I ordered the cheapest one at INR 350.
Alian 3D cardboard | Google Cardboard 2015 | V-2.0
Looks like a cardboard box, golden in color
The product is simple, It uses a format called “side by side” 3D. So essentially, in real life both our eyes see the same thing with a slight difference in the angle, about 45 degrees, our brain merges these two images together and we get the 3D depth. The same concept is used in the 3D movies where two images are projected simultaneously and your 3D glasses merge them together using various techniques and you get the 3D effect.
In cardboard, the display is actually your smart phone. Download an app, run it, plug the phone in, wear the unit on your eyes. When you look at the content without cardboard you see two screens side by side, slightly at an angle, when you watch it through the cardboard, there are two lenses that converge these two screens into one and Voila ! you are inside the scene. Some apps also allow you to move around in the scene as you turn your head. Now that some good use of the accelerometer.
I immediately downloaded a lot of VR apps and content onto my android phone like Elle preview, VR Safari, VR RollerCoaster and many more. They are still in nascent stages but yeah, at least there is something to try.
The most interesting app that I liked is Paris VR. Since I have already done a Euro Trip, and have covered Paris in that trip I could very well relive the feeling of being there in the exact same places, I was going crazy with the views of Paris looking like Cyclops from X men wearing my super glasses, totally transported into this Virtual Reality Matrix kind of world in short living all my Hollywood science fiction fantasies and my wife walked into the room and asked me why was I playing with this toy and behaving like a kid, I strapped the cardboard on her eyes and sent her to favorite destination Paris where she had been a year back and this time only for 350 Rupees.
Here is her reaction-
Verdict: The cardboard is super awesome! but with VR we havent even scratched the surface properly. Cant wait to see what all it will offer. Also looking forward to some Indian destinations to be available in VR tourism.