My brother got this birthday present that he couldn't figure out so I decided I would tinker with it. I've worked in tech in the past in non-technical positions but anyone not in tech in SV will assume that you are great with computers or anything related, and throw hardware problems with you as if you're a doctor and they handed you a stethoscope, with eyes that say, "do something, fix it now."
This present was Cardboard, as pictured above. (www.imcardboard.com). As you can see from the photos, the packaging is pretty, but not friendly to anyone that isn't familiar with VR. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person and had some challenges figuring it out, so did my brother, who was better in school, so even better at following instructions than me.
First Impressions: Looks
Initial impressions: wtf is this? Looks super cool, but wtf is this? I must investigate.
Let's analyze the instructions:
There are three basic steps. Super easy to follow because they are physical actions with the headset. The only instruction beyond that is to Scan your QR Code. There's a QR code on the side. I was like, ok, I will download a QR reader. Downloaded.
I try to scan it. It comes up blank. Hmmm what now? I'll go to the website.
Website tries to sell me more stuff. No salvation of any kind. Proceed to inspect packaging further, thinking, this shouldn't be that hard!
There's a symbol on the back that says "Compatible with Google Cardboard." I thought to myself, ok, so it works with it, but that doesn't mean I need it right? Whatever, I'll just download it anyway. So I downloaded Google Cardboard App from the iOs App Store, insert the phone in the headset as instructed, and was on my way to the awesome demo that Google put together.
What the Real Instructions Should Have Read:
How to Use the DSCVR Cardboard:
Step 1: Download Google Cardboard or any of the VR Apps listed on our Website (list some apps on the homepage of your site)
Step 2-4: Current steps 1-3 on the box
Step 5: Hold up the viewfinder and make sure the images are in focus. Enjoy!
Experience: How Was It?
It was amazing. I felt like I saw a new color. I felt like I saw the future. I felt like I was in the Matrix. I felt like I was 9 and it was 1997 and I was running out of websites to go to but wanted to go to more.
That's what started the love. I truly believe VR and AR are the future.
The demo was simple, you can choose from a tutorial, explorer, exhibit, urban hike, kaleidoscope, and arctic journey. The best way I can describe it is that you hold up these glasses and look around and everything is exactly as it would appear as if you were there.
Let's say we took an Urban Hike in Paris. Look to your left, some guard rails and tourists. Look up, it's the Effiel Tower, look to your right, trees, pavement and a walking path. Look behind you? Some people cuddling on a blanket (not really, but if they wanted to make it more real, then yes).
Or what if we were in the Artic? A bird pops up. You wanna know more about the bird. Why wonder when you can find out?! Move your eyesight next to the bird, press the button on the googles and violia! Instant info.
The point is, all the things we yearn for, to discover, to be, to learn, to experience, to feel, etc etc are possible. It's early. The graphics are okay.
But the point is, in the future, we don't have to wait. The future is now. Time is the only thing we can't get back; make the most of it.
Possible / Actual Cons: Kind of a pain to hold up, but you shouldn't be on there for long, which btw, I was informed after I was using it long enough to get a headache, that you're NOT SUPPOSED TO USE IT MORE THAN 15 MINUTES. Yes, that key info was also omitted from the packaging.
Investment: The price is right. I saw it's 2 USD to 30 USD! Can get up and running in minutes.
Yes, it's a nice entry level headset that got my interest piqued! Would happily give it to friend to try out.
VR & AR are for everyone.