Tag Archive: Google Cardboard

Google on Thursday rolled out its Expeditions app with a new solo mode for all users.

“Using this mode, they can explore over 600 different tours on their own. All that users need to do is download the Expeditions app (available on both Android and iOS), drop their phone into Google Cardboard and get ready for an adventure!” the company said in a statement.

For the past two years, the app was available only for teachers as a tool to extend learning inside the classroom, helping students to gain exposure to new career paths and learn about various social impact initiatives happening around the globe.

With the new update, users can either take these tours as an explorer or a guide.

As an ‘Explorer’, users can experience the tour on their own, where they can view more detailed information on various points of interest within the experience.

The ‘Guide Mode’ lets teachers preview a tour before embarking with their students on a virtual journey.

Expeditions also works on Daydream View VR headset-ready phones for more immersive and engaging experience.



Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Rumours have been rife that Google has been working on a standalone VR headset that does not require an Android smartphone to power it, like the Gear VR or Google Cardboard do. The company was expected to showcase the VR headset at Google I/O, which kicks off next week, apart from showing enhancements in Android that make the platform more virtual reality friendly. Now, a new report is claiming access to fresh details about the standalone VR headset from Google.



In a series of tweets, tech journalism pioneer Peter Rojas made several claims about Google’s rumoured standalone VR headset. The headset may be called Android VR, and will “definitely” be launched at “next week” (presumably at Google I/O). He added that the headset will be less powerful than the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, but better than the Samsung Gear VR that’s made in collaboration with Facebook-owned Oculus VR. Pricing is still unknown, and will of course be crucial in selling the product.

To note, is that these rumours are pointing to a standalone (completely independent of smartphone or PC), or at least untethered (wirelessly connected to smartphone or PC) headset, though Google is also said to be working on the next generation of Google Cardboard, which apart from better sensors, lenses, and casing, will also act as the reference design for VR headsets from other manufacturers. We will of course know more at Google I/O developer conference next week.

Meanwhile last month Samsung, Google’s biggest Android smartphone OEM, announced it was developing a standalone headset, one that will not require a smartphone or desktop to operate, and be fully wireless.

Google is definitely concentrating on VR, and we can expect to see improvements to Android to facilitate this vision announced at I/O next week. The company recently also created a new division dedicated to virtual reality.


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Google has been rumoured to be working on its second-generation Cardboard virtual reality headset for several weeks now. A new report over the weekend claimed that the Cardboard VR successor will feature “better sensors, lenses and a more solid plastic casing.”

The report citing people familiar with Google’s plans added that the company may also reveal a new Android VR technology this year, potentially making Android smartphones natively capable of streaming VR content without requiring a specialised app (like Cardboard). The new Cardboard is said to function in a similar manner to the previous generation budget VR headset, once again based around a smartphone that will be slotted in the device as its display.

The Financial Times report says that the updated Google Cardboard VR headset will be compatible with large number of Android devices, unlike Gear VR which only supports high-end Galaxy devices. The company is also rumoured to make some improvements in the quality of the mobile VR user experience which is said to embed new VR tech software directly into its Android OS. This built-in support is reportedly also meant to ensure that latency is reduced, what is thought to be one of the chief causes of the nausea reported by many VR users.

Google is expected to push its next-generation Cardboard VR headset in a manner similar to its Nexus range of devices, created to showcase the new OS and hardware capabilities that other OEM makers can take cues from and use as a reference design.

The report also claims that Google, like it did in 2014, will showcase the new Cardboard at its I/O 2016 event in May. Similar to Nexus device unveils, the actual launch is expected in September. Last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed the dates and venue for the company’s annual developer event. Google I/O 2016 will take place in Mountain View, California on May 18 through May 20.

The new report ties in with Google’s ambitions in the virtual reality sphere, evinced by its recent creation of a new division for the nascent yet hot technology category, and the appointment of one of Google Cardboard’s creators as the head of it. The company is looking to take on Facebook’s levering of the technology it acquired by Oculus VR.

Google last month announced that it shipped 5 million units of the Google Cardboard headset since launch.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Google is getting serious about virtual reality (VR). The Mountain View-based company has created a new division for the nascent yet hot technology category, and has appointed one of Google Cardboard’s creators as the head of it.

The company has appointed Clay Bavor, who previously held the vice president of product management position at Google as the head of its new virtual reality division, reported Re/Code. Bavor previously spearheaded the development and design of several of Google’s apps and services, including Gmail and Google Drive.

The Internet giant recently hired Diane Greene, a founder of VMware, to head Google’s cloud computing division. Greene is also in charge of the company’s Web applications business, handling the aforementioned apps. Google is said to have confirmed the changes to Re/Code, but did not comment further.

While virtual reality technology is still in the nascent phase but major tech giants and others are investing big on it. Facebook has made a major bet on Oculus Rift. The social juggernaut announced earlier this month that it will begin shipping the consumer edition of the VR headset starting May. Microsoft has shown some great capabilities in HoloLens, and Asus has also shared its plans to create a virtual reality device.

Google unveiled the Google Cardboard at Google I/O 2014. The company has largely remained tight-lipped on whether it wants this experimented project to grow. In the past few months, however, it has started to show some interest in it. The company recently partnered with The New York Times to send one million readers free Cardboard units. It also partnered with GoPro last year for a VR camera.

Last year, YouTube’s engineering chief Matthew Mengerink shared how VR will change things, adding that it is the future. As you can imagine, the potential for this emerging technology is huge. With the reported move, Google has just confirmed that it wants to be a frontrunner in this space.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Cheap and easy-to-use virtual reality gets another boost as after the low-cost Google Cardboard VR headset for mobile phones, there’s now also a similar headset from Microsoft, according to a report.

As reported by Thurrott.com, Microsoft is running a hackathon in Russia to attract developers into creating apps for virtual reality. The signup page for the contest has been removed since the report went up, but the site included the image above.

From the image at least, the VR Kit shown looks a lot like Google Cardboard – it’s a far cry from HoloLens, an augmented reality headset that Microsoft has been working on – but given the growing interest in virtual reality, it perhaps makes sense that Microsoft might also want to have some apps in place on its platform. Given how simple the Cardboard is – and how simple the VR Kit looks – it is even possible that the headsets will be interchangeable, which would be another reason for Microsoft to get apps in place quickly, since cheap Cardboard headsets are readily available, and this could lead to Android getting a huge head start in a whole new category of apps if left unchecked.

According to the report, Microsoft is planning to hold the hackathon on October 17 with three categories – games, education, and corporate apps. Could this be the first step towards something more elaborate, like the Samsung Gear VR? That $99 (approximately Rs. 6,500) headset is now being sold by Samsung, and was made in collaboration with Oculus, whose headset, the Oculus Rift triggered the current interest in virtual reality technology, with new headsets coming from Sony (Project Morpheus, now PlayStation VR), HTC (Vive), as well as Microsoft’s own fairly unique take, the HoloLens.

We’re seeing a lot of content being developed for virtual reality as well; there are already simple apps offering experiences such as roller coasters rides and concerts, while Oculus is working on VR movies, and others are trying to create VR graphic novels. It makes sense that Microsoft would not want to be left behind again on an entirely new category of apps, but we’ll probably have a better idea of what its plans are, next month.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)