Google Cardboard Apps to Explore Basic Virtual Reality

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-06-26
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Google Cardboard Apps to Explore Basic Virtual Reality
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    Google Cardboard Apps to Explore Basic Virtual Reality

    By Don Reisinger
  • Previous
    Mercedes VR Isn't Just About Selling Cars
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    Mercedes VR Isn't Just About Selling Cars

    Mercedes VR is arguably one of the neatest apps in this roundup, allowing users to see virtual-reality videos the carmaker has released in the past year. The free app lets users get into different Mercedes cars and even go for a fast ride around a test track. This app is a natural for anyone who wants to try out a Mercedes without going to a dealer or paying luxury sports car prices for the privilege.
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    Seene Captures the World in 3D
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    Seene Captures the World in 3D

    Seene lets smartphone users snap a photo and then add depth and movement to create a virtual 3D image. Then they can share those images with the Seene community to view them as virtual-reality images with Cardboard. It's a neat (and free) app that adds a little social flavor. Image 2: Please use this image:
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    Take a Virtual Roller-Coaster Ride
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    Take a Virtual Roller-Coaster Ride

    Looking to ride a roller coaster without gathering up the courage to actually get on one? Roller Coaster VR might just be for you. The app puts users into the front seat of roller coasters to experience the full roller-coaster effect from their smartphones. One note on this app, however: While it works with Cardboard, third-party VR glasses from Fibrum are required to get the full experience.
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    Play a Mystery Game With Chair In A Room
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    Play a Mystery Game With Chair In A Room

    Chair In A Room has quickly become one of the most popular Cardboard apps. The program puts people in a chair and forces them to look around a room to uncover the mysteries that are unfolding around them. A Chair In A Room is part experiment and part video game. It appeals to users looking to both try out Cardboard and play a mystery game. Like the other apps in this roundup, it's available for free.
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    The North Face Climb for Thrill-Seekers
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    The North Face Climb for Thrill-Seekers

    Thrill-seekers will find a lot to like in The North Face: Climb. The user simply puts on the Cardboard and turns on the app and is immersed in a 360-degree 3D VR film, showing some of the most harrowing mountain climbs in the world. The free app offers fascinating insight into what it takes to be a mountain climber—and the beauty that goes with it.
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    Zoom Into a Paul McCartney Performance
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    Zoom Into a Paul McCartney Performance

    Anyone who's interested in being up close and personal with Sir Paul McCartney will want to download the Google Cardboard Paul McCartney app. The program gives users a 360-degree view of McCartney and a crowd as he performs "Live and Let Die." It's just one performance, but it's something users will watch often. Best of all, it's free.
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    War of Words VR Blends Battle Images, Poetry
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    War of Words VR Blends Battle Images, Poetry

    War of Words VR is arguably the most innovative Cardboard app in this roundup. The free app uses virtual reality to go back to 1916, when Siegfried Sassoon wrote his controversial poem "The Kiss." The poem was written before the First World War's Battle of the Somme, and depicts a graphic view of the horrors of war. As the poem is displayed on-screen, Cardboard users move their heads around to experience its words. It's a fascinating mix of war—and words.
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    Titans of Space Lets You Explore the Extraterrestrial
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    Titans of Space Lets You Explore the Extraterrestrial

    Anyone who has a fascination with space will want to try out the free Titans of Space for Cardboard. The app lets users explore planets and other celestial bodies in our solar system and learn about each. The app has some much-needed attention to detail, ensuring that all sizes of planets are to scale. It's a neat app for anyone who wants to go to space in full virtual reality.
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    Vanguard V Goes for Fast-Paced Gaming Fun
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    Vanguard V Goes for Fast-Paced Gaming Fun

    Vanguard V has received rave reviews among gamers. The free app is a third-party shooter that the company said, provides fast speeds as users move from the low orbit of Earth to its core and shoot targets along the way. The Vanguard V shows what can be accomplished in Cardboard and delivers a fast-paced, fun shooting experience.
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    There Is Always Google's Cardboard App
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    There Is Always Google's Cardboard App

    Google, of course, has its own Cardboard app that provides free access to a range of content, including Google Earth, tour guides to Versailles, and even the user's videos. Users can also immerse themselves in an animated world known as Windy Day. Google Cardboard is a must-have for anyone just getting his or her feet wet with the platform.
 

If the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo said anything about the future of gaming, it's that virtual reality will increasingly play an important role in that experience. From Facebook's Oculus to Microsoft's HoloLens, a host of wearables were on display at the event, all showcasing what they can do and their potential impact on virtual reality and gaming. But lost amid those conversations has been Google Cardboard, the low-cost, bare-bones virtual-reality device that allows users to plug in a smartphone to get full VR experience. The idea is novel, and at a starting price as low as $20, it's easy to start exploring VR technology with Cardboard. But to truly see the value of Cardboard, users need apps that are compatible with the device. In the past few months, many more developers have been delivering apps that can accommodate a full VR experience with Cardboard. This slide show will highlight some of those Android apps and suggest why they may be worth downloading for anyone who already has Cardboard or is thinking about getting one.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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