Google Cardboard may be the catalyst 3D Immersive Video + Gaming needs to go mainstream.
July 2, 2014 2 Comments
One of the hot topics to come out of this years Google I/O conference is Google Cardboard. (Or Oculus Thrift as its been nicknamed!!)
As BBC’s Richard Taylor suggested in his iPhone shot report on the project, some attendees thought it was a gag- Until they tried it!
But having watched a few reports I have to say I think it is ingenious! At the start of the year I blogged about 360º Immersive Video and the trend setters to watch.
Since then a literal deluge of 360º cameras/devices have hit crowd-funding platforms as have novel and interesting alternatives to the Oculus Rift-see below.
With so many impressive 360º cameras likely to be available by the end of the year, it begs the question how will the user CONSUME this 360º content?
Remember some of these cameras can LIVESTREAM 360º Video!
There are a growing number of Apps available for Android and iOS ( I don’t know of any for Windows but if you do please share in comments below)
which will give you a 360º Video player. The one I’ve used for demonstrations is Freedom360Player which uses the accelerometer, gyroscope etc to orientate the image as you move your head (head-tracking)
It looks like this
but notice this App doesn’t emulate the 2 up Immersive 3D display that is now synonymous with “Immersive Video:
This is where Immersive Headsets like the Oculus Rift and these others come in to their own….
But, until now there has been a genuine risk that Developers wouldn’t bother coding Apps for this Immersive platform.
Immersive is (somewhat) unproven and new, 3DTV left a lot of hot air in its wake but without the promised audience adoption.
However Google’s Cardboard, albeit extremely rudimentary may help to convince a wary audience of the potential of Immersive Video and Games, before they outlay on any of the headsets mentioned above.
This could be the catalyst that helps in the proof of concept stage that will lead to wider audience adoption and hopefully some really innovative uses.
The designs to build you’re own “Cardboard” are on the Google Developers site (Click image of template) or
alternatively you can buy a pre-cut version here
The last point I’m chewing through is the interaction features. Google have used an ultra simple magnet (silver ring in image) mounted on the side of the headset to interact with their menus.
But what if the mobile device, iPhone or Android could pair via bluetooth with something like a Kinect or Leap?
Or even better what if the Android Wear range were fitted with the same motion sensors as the phones to track movement?
Then simple gestures with your hands could become the interaction method for the user?
Which might look like this…. 😉
Form more info on the MetaPro SpaceGlasses click here