Google Cardboard on iPhone: cheap VR headset comes to Apple and other bigger phones

Headset can be made for a few pounds, and gives people access to virtual reality using phone’s screen

Andrew Griffin
Saturday 30 May 2015 11:40
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People wait in line for the Google I/O 2015 developers conference
People wait in line for the Google I/O 2015 developers conference

Google is releasing its Cardboard virtual reality headset for iPhone, as part of its push towards VR.

The company released Cardboard last year – a piece of cardboard that uses velcro to cheaply attach a phone to people’s face, letting them experience a version of virtual reality. But it has now moved to it iPhone, as well as releasing a new version of the headset that is easier to assemble and fits bigger Android phones.

The company also released "Jump" – a special camera rig and software that allow people to make their own virtual reality films. VR requires people to stitch together a full 360-degree film, and the tools allow people to put together a set of cameras on one rig and then stitch those videos together.

GoPro will also make a special camera array that means that people will be able to film full 360-degree videos. That new camera will be fully compatible with Google's software.

iPhones have always fit into the cardboard headset. But Google has now moved its development kit – the tools that designers use to put things into the headset – will now work on iOS as well as Android.

Google released the Cardboard updates alongside new experiences for its virtual reality tools. Those includes “Expeditions” – a full setup that allows whole classes to go on school trips using the tools.

Expeditions give schools a class-worth of cardboard headsets and phones, and give the teacher a tablet to control the experience. Students can then all go and look around a virtual recreation of different places, Google said.

Videos using the Jump framework will also be put on YouTube.

The company said that Cardboard for Android had been a huge success, with over 1 million people using the technology.

Google said that the virtual reality plans were part of a broader focus on bringing the real world to people.

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