Cardboard – DIY Virtual Reality

July 18, 2014

Google engineers recently came up with a clever trick to convert your Android phone into a portable Virtual Reality device, using mostly ordinary Cardboard.

The project is hosted at:

It is a do-it-yourself kit, that build a box around your phone, and uses two lenses (one for each eye) to help you focus on a close screen. Then, taking advantage of the very high resolution of modern phones, it splits the screen to generate a "left" view and a "right" view, as configured traditionally for stereovision.

stereo vision example



The Virtual Reality software Kit also provides support to use data from the sensors built-in the phone, and to take the spatial orientation of the phone into account when generating the stereo images. For example moving the image as you move your head.

The origins:

David Coz and Damien Henry at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris built a cardboard smartphone housing to prototype VR experiences as part of a 20% project. The results elicited so many oohs and ahs that they inspired a larger group to work on an experimental SDK.

Instructions on how to assemble the Carboard hardware are available here

and a Tutorial, for you to build your own is available here

Lesson learned: leaving empty Pizza boxes close to Engineers may have unintended consequences…

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