Edit: This may have gone up temporarily while it was still nowhere near ready to get published to the Odeck. Apologies for that, I accidentally hit publish while answering my phone. Or, if you'd prefer, "I'm afraid I prematurely shot my wad on what was supposed to be a dry run, if you will, so I'm afraid I have something of a mess on my hands." And yes, I know, "there's so many poorly chosen words in that sentence".
Well, I didn't get that Nexus 6 in my hands to tinker with just yet, but my buddy did make good on his promise to pay me for as yet undelivered services (he was busy and couldn't leave me his Nexus 6 to work on last night). He gave me the spare set of Google Cardboard he recently received.
For the record, locally at least, T-Mobile is apparently giving this out when you purchase the Nexus 6 in store. I think that's really cool. It also helps that not many people know what it is, which is why I was able to convince him to give me his set. Except his mom also bought a Nexus 6 and so he gave me her set, with the "tell me how it is, so I can mess with mine" warning.
I should add that unlike my other reviews I won't be able to provide screenshots. I mean I could, but you won't see things the way they look when you're actually wearing Cardboard. So I would rather not share something that doesn't truly show you what the experience is like. That said, it's worth also mentioning that you do in fact have to basically provide your own "virtual reality screen" so to speak. By which I mean, you need a smartphone to toss in to actually make use of any Google Cardboard headset.
EDIT. Just want to add that Google Cardboard will work with any phone, provided your phone fits into whatever Google Cardboard device you end up with. (Some only fit smaller phones of the 4.7" to 5.2" variety. The specific one I'm writing this review about came with the Nexus 6, but it only just barely can take my Moto X 2nd Generation. They do make bigger versions, albeit the kind you have to pay for, that will accept bigger devices like the Nexus 6, Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus.)
So let's just get to it shall we?
Out of the box, what do you get with Google Cardboard?
First off, you get a nice "Welcome" kit, complete with candy! And naturally, it is Lollipop related, speaking of which I'm gonna snack on mine right now. I am on my lunch break and all.
You also get some Play Store credit (which expired nearly two months ago) and a sticker! I love stickers! Especially Android related ones.
You also get a nice little card with plenty of information on it, all of which is put in a simple and easy to understand why. Honestly, I especially dug that.
When you flip that over there's some more info on the back.
Of course, while all of that is very neat it isn't why we're here. This is why we are here!
To quote from a film I'm sure most of us have seen, "WHAT'S IN THE BOX?! WHAT'S IN THE FUCKING BOX?!?!"
This is in the box, my friends.
Nothing else whatsoever, not even a simple piece of paper to tell you how to assemble it. For what may very well be the first time in my life I was kind of shocked. "No instructions?" I picked it up, I looked at it and I couldn't figure out how to put it together properly beyond "I assume tabs go into slots".
A quick check of the packaging yielded nothing more than a few words and a link.
I've yet to be defeated by anything that required some assembly though. (Although being who I am I have on quite a few occasions been left with some "extra" screws here and there.)
Edit: That picture above was taken before I'd begun playing with the device and put my phone in it. You can see how it looks fully assembled in this next picture. (Also note that the velcro allows you to open and close it to insert and remove your phone at your pleasure.)
So, we've seen what was in the box. How does it work?
That is actually totally easy to explain.
First off, you can start by installing the Google Cardboard app from the Play Store on your phone. Once you've done that you can peruse for Apps for Google Cardboard and install them. Once you've done so you simply fire them up and put your phone in Google Cardboard and then put it to your face. It's as simple as that.
Honestly, I was beyond excited to get to using Cardboard. I don't know everyone's rough ages on here, but as a kid back in the '90s I absolutely was fascinated by virtual reality and virtual reality headsets. I remember going to Fiesta Texas with my family and my fourth grade class another time and ending up in the game area and seeing the virtual reality machines and just tripping out watching people use them.
That sense of wonder is how I felt a short while ago sitting at my desk while using the Kaiju Fury. Because yes, as an Odecker that absolutely positively had to be the first Google Cardboard app I checked out.
I also got very busted spinning in my chair and looking up and down and around at my "surroundings" while using said app.
Truth be told, it is very much "virtual reality" and it does feel like you're "there". The viewing motions and all that remind me very much of the Motorola Spotlight app and the way you interact with the environments/videos there. Moving around and shifting your phone this way and that way to "see" more of everything.
Edit. Ha! Totally just realized that if you visit the Google Cardboard page you can clearly see Motorola Spotlight a few pics down.
I found the experience very enjoyable and I'll likely explore more apps this evening when I'm not at work.
Okay, so assuming I want to try out Google Cardboard how could I do so?
Provided you don't wear glasses, which I do, you could do so by making your own kit (more on that in a bit) or buying a pre-made one. Honestly, there are a lot of options from the plain cardboard kind to some insanely well made foam and even high end aluminum models.
Since I get paid later this afternoon I personally think I'm going to be picking up this set instead.
Of course, if those aren't to your liking, feel free to check the manufacturer's site directly for plenty more options.
And of course they aren't the only manufacturer who offers plenty of options. That one even has a very "high end" version.
Coolness, anything else worth sharing?
Nope! If you want some more info though you can naturally check out Google Cardboard's official page.
I'll probably have some more fun with this later tonight/this weekend and I may or may not update this post to reflect any additional thoughts or findings.
If you're at all interested in virtual reality or just a big kid at heart and you have some spare cardboard laying around or $25 or so bucks you can part with I highly suggest you give Google Cardboard a try. There are sillier things and ways to entertain yourselves with, trust me I would know.
(Instructions on how to build your own Cardboard, as well as required materials, can be found on this page, just scroll down for the actual download link.)
Anyway, that's all for today!