The Google Cardboard VR is a very cheap way to start enjoying the exploding universe of virtual reality, and can be used with most phones, up to and including an iPhone 6. However, it is not easy to assemble with just the included instructions, so we have made this easy-to-follow, step-by-step video.
If you want to try VR or just give the gift of VR, the choices can be overwhelming. But you really cannot go wrong with the $13.99 Google Cardboard VR.
Google Cardboard VR is the cheapest possible VR headset you can buy, yet it actually works really well as a fun toy and as a great introduction to VR.
Assembling the Google Cardboard VR
When I first unpacked the bits of cardboard and the elastic band (!) I was not very optimistic. All of the pieces were quite overwhelming. It certainly took me a while to figure out how to assemble my new Google Cardboard VR. The instructions look impressive at first sight, but turn out not to be very helpful.
To be honest, I don’t think I would have managed to assemble it if I did not have a secret weapon – a 16-year-old daughter who is really good at that kind of thing.
My brilliant daughter helped me to figure out how to assemble the Google Cardboard VR, and we actually had a lot of fun doing it. Oddly, the most fun we have had together for ages. It’s fun when your kids start to be so smart that they can help you out! It’s also fun to discover interests in common, despite the many years of age difference. We both enjoy technology, and we both admire very clever technology. We also had a lot of fun making the video above, which shows unboxing and assembling the Google Cardboard VR.
How does the Magnet on Google Cardboard VR Work?
One of the great things about the Google Cardboard is that two simple magnets work as an input device (e.g. a mouse click or Enter), just by cleverly interacting with your phone. It amazed me. I was watching an app that required a mouse click, and I thought, “How am I going to do that without taking the phone out of the headset?” Without thinking it would actually work, I slid the magnet – and it worked! Just amazing.
This is how the magnet button on the Google Cardboard VR works: Your phone most likely has a magnetic sensor in the back. The magnetic sensor is there to work with smart covers that put the phone to sleep, or to sense docking stations. When you slide the magnet on the Google Cardboard in its groove, it then automatically slips back into place because of the other magnet on the opposite side. Your phone’s magnetic sensor senses the movement of the magnet, and interprets this as a button press, which it then applies to whatever input your app happens to be waiting for, such as a mouse click or pressing the enter button. Simply brilliant, and it makes the simple Google Cardboard way more versatile for apps.
I hope this post and video help you to assemble your new Google Cardboard VR, and I hope you have as much fun with it as we did. Google Cardboard VR will let you experience reasonable quality VR for the price of a couple of coffees and a muffin!
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