Recently I was introduced to Google Cardboard! Google Cardboard is an app. for smartphones that allows users to download for free, and in turn it will deliver a variety of virtual reality experiences viewed through a cardboard viewer. The platform was created by two google engineers, David Coz and Damien Henry and introduced it in 2014. By January 2016, over 5 million Cardboard viewers had been purchased and over 1,000 compatible applications had been published. Google Cardboard is available using three different operating systems android, Unity, and iOS.
I am sure you are asking yourself how expensive is the viewer? It can cost nothing! Google offers downloadable instructions to make your own viewer at home using cardboard material! If you don’t have the time to make your own viewer you can purchase one for roughly ten dollars online. Once the app has been set up, a viewer has either been purchased or made, you can download virtual reality videos, and start to enjoy your new experiences. There are a number of different apps available such as travel, concerts, games, and even a camera app that allows users to turn images from their own life into virtual memories.
One of the great advantages of Google Cardboard is that teachers can use the software to take their students on virtual field trips. This app also allows students to take virtual tours and experience recreations of historical and geographical places! I believe that Google will continue to release versions that will be compatible with more operating systems. This is an app that is here to stay and I will not be surprised if in the future we see many classrooms using is it just as we see laptops today! In fact, classroom kits are available in various packages that typically include synchronized Cardboard viewers, smartphones, and tablet for the teacher to act as tour guide.