Virtual reality is one of the coolest technologies, but systems like Oculus Rift or Sony’s prototype is largely unavailable to us regular folk thanks to high pricing. Luckily, Google has come up with a rather ingenious option on the cheap.

At the end of their annual I/O developer conference senior vice president at Google, Sundar Pichai, showed off the company’s unofficial virtual reality headset – completely made out of household goods and a piece of cardboard.

Simply called ‘Cardboard’, the design gets folded, molded and glued into a fully-working head-mounted V.R headset by using your own smartphone and a pair of integrated lenses to create the V.R effect.

While attendees at I/O got an already-assembled Cardboard to take home and play around with, Google has posted up some instructions on how to build your own Cardboard here. It details exactly what materials you would need, how to fold it, and even a Self-Development Kit (SDK) so that you can code your own projects to work with Cardboard.

“Virtual reality has made exciting progress over the past several years. However, developing for VR still requires expensive, specialised hardware. Thinking about how to make VR accessible to more people, a group of VR enthusiasts at Google experimented with using a smartphone to drive VR experiences. The result is Cardboard, a no-frills enclosure that transforms a phone into a basic VR headset,” Google said on the Cardboard website.

If you don’t fancy building your own headset as per Google’s instructions, there are already a number of company who would sell you fully assembled headsets building the Google specifications. You can grab one here for about R200.

[Source – Google]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.