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Please Join us for a virtual tour of the Agile Data Sites Princeton Data Center. You will see our facility as well as our critical systems up close and personal. If you’re watching in your browser you can drag the picture around with your mouse. If you happen to have a VR headset or Google Cardboard you can watch on your phone in VR.

To learn more about Google Cardboard, please refer to this repost from Android Authority: Link

What is Google Cardboard, and how it works

Simply put, Google Cardboard is a virtual reality platform. Google creates a basic spec for “Cardboard compatible” viewers and apps but doesn’t actually regulate or sell either of these things – though it has occasionally offered fully assembled viewers for free as part of various promotions.

Since there’s little to no regulation on the viewer designs sold, there are a ton of different viewers out there. While the “default” model is in fact made of cardboard, there are variants that come in plastic, foam, and other materials.

DIY Google Cardboard 12

As for how Cardboard works? Basically an app splits an image on your phone’s screen into two. You then insert your phone into a reader, and using two special lenses, you are given a 3D VR type affect might pale in comparison to high-end VR experiences like you’d find with an Oculus Rift, but is actually pretty impressive considering the low-key investment here.

Controlling the games is done a few different ways, but most commonly you interact by looking at things long enough to select them. You can also look around the VR world just as you would in the real world, by moving your head. Some viewers and apps do support extra input methods like triggers on the viewer, Bluetooth controllers, etc, but these methods of control are less common at this stage.

Where can you get Cardboard

Merge VR is one of the more "premium" Cardboard viewers out there.

Merge VR is one of the more “premium” Cardboard viewers out there.

Before you decide to jump into the wonderful world of Cardboard, keep in mind you’ll need a phone that runs Android 4.1 or higher. Thankfully, that shouldn’t be a problem for almost everyone these days. It’s also worth mentioning that some Cardboard viewers are designed with smaller phones in mind, while others support up to 6-inch displays, so keep that in mind when deciding which viewer is right for you.

For the DIYers out there, you can actually build your own Cardboard as well! The process for it isn’t too complicated, and is further explained here. If you’d rather not mess around with building your own though, there are a number of pre-assembled units available through Amazon and other e-tailers:

  • Tonsee DIY Cardboard A base Cardboard viewer made of cardboard and offering no extras. While it’s simple, it’s also dirt cheap at just $3.92 with shipping factored in.
  • Google Cardboard 3d Vr Virtual Reality DIY Basically the same as the Tonsee but with straps for keeping it on your head and a few other minor ‘extras’. At $9.98 (with free shipping), it’s a slight bit more expensive than the basic version, but really that’s still very cheap for a VR headset, and having straps will prove a lot more comfortable than having to hold the VR viewer the whole time.
  • JoyGeek 3D Cardboard This model has a strap, a plastic design, padding comfort while wearing, and several other enhancements that set it several levels higher than the first two viewers on the list. At $21.90, it’s still extremely affordable too. And there’s even a remote that can be purchased optionally for around $17.
  • View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack This one is billed more as a toy, and follows the iconic design of the View-master reel viewers that many of us owned as kids. That said, it is fully compatible with Google Cardboard apps and even has some cool extras like support for its own AR “discs”. At $19.10, it’s once again light on the wallet.
  • IncrediSonic M700 VUE Series VR Glasses Another plastic viewer that’s fully compatible with Cardboard apps. At $43.95, this one is much pricier, but it does have a Bluetooth controller that will allow you better interaction with games that support in. Unfortunately, there really aren’t that many games that do, but this number is starting to grow.
  • Merge VR At $100, this unit is honestly way too expensive, especially when Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 5, GS7, and S7 Edge owners can get a Gear VR unit for the same price and the Gear VR is much more capable (Gear VR is NOT designed with Cardboard apps in mind however). That said, Merge VR is one of the most comfortable solutions out there, made of foam that feels great and is light. Merge VR is also fully Cardboard compatible, and has its own SDK that will eventually yield cool apps. But for now? The Merge VR has a lot of promise, but you’re probably better off getting something cheaper, unless comfort is of utmost importance to you.