When I was ten, I watched The Lawnmower Man. Before then, I hadn’t heard of virtual reality and if there was ever a film to excite and terrify a person on the subject, it was this one! So I was super interested to learn we’d be working with Air New Zealand on a new Google Cardboard app – even if it doesn’t include weird metallic lovers slowly merging together.
Google Cardboard is a virtual reality platform for mobile and is used within a cardboard headset with the phone mounted inside. It’s an extremely low-cost application of VR technology created by two Google engineers, David Coz and Damien Henry, in an attempt to spark interest and development in the VR world.
A Google Cardboard–compatible app splits the screen down the middle, creating two displays – one for each eye – which are viewed through lenses within the headset. The app taps into the phone’s gyroscope to match the on-screen display with the movement of the user’s head.
I truly hope the rise of Google Cardboard apps, 360° interactive YouTube videos and products like the Occulus Rift will re-ignite passion and growth within the VR market, and we’ll soon have holodeck-style virtual experiences in our own homes. In the meantime, we’ll always have The Matrix, eXistenZ, The Thirteenth Floor and… um… Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace?