Google took the opportunity to introduce a unique concept that was quite surprising and eye catching for the developers who were present at the Google I/O conference and also for them who were watching the conference live at their respective places.
At the end of the two and a half long keynote, Sundar Pichai, mentioned that the attendee gift bag would contain a piece of Cardboard.
The Google Cardboard is a cardboard "viewer" that creates an Oculus Rift-like the virtual reality viewer which combines with an app on the Android smartphone.
Users can access a variety of Google apps like Earth, YouTube and PhotoSpheres in a different way while enjoying it fully.
Google provides the facility of developing own demos using the VR Toolkit. The VR Toolkit enables developers to be familiar with the OpenGL to immediately start with making VR applications. In addition, it simplifies many VR development tasks including
- Lens distortion correction.
- Head tracking.
- 3D calibration.
- Side-by-side rendering.
- Stereo geometry configuration.
- User input event handling.
Google's idea is to bring the virtual reality to as many people as possible without any excessive cost to bear. From the developers perspective, the viewer tool is helpful in developing VR apps as an easier experience. They would require arranging few simple tools such as two strips of velcro, magnets, some lenses, scissors, a rubber band and obviously a cardboard. And just directly go to the Google Cardboard site
to download the cardboard design files and catch the Google Cardboard app.
The Cardboard came into being when at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris, two Google employees as part of a 20% project, they built a Cardboard. It was so inspiring that the smartphone framework influenced a larger group to develop an experimental SDK.
Google provides caution that the toolkit contents can change or break without providing any warning and as the VR Toolkit is experimental, the same level of quality and support won't be seen as in other Android SDK's and libraries that Google offer.
The Mashable reports that the concept is totally a bizarre and completely different from iPhone VR viewer and it will be a great experience for the developers as well as the consumers.