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Google’s Cardboard makes virtual reality a thing for the masses

tech Updated: Jul 21, 2015 10:09 IST
Google Cardboard

Google's Cardboard VR.

When we think of technology, we think of processors, memory, applications, operating systems, even connectivity. What we don’t think is that technology could be in a piece of paper, or to be more accurate a piece of cardboard.

Simply put, the Google Cardboard allows you to experience virtual reality, while you sit in the comfort of your lounge chair in your bedroom, whether this is taking a walk on the Great Wall of China, to experiencing Sir James Paul McCartney singing live. This week, let us show you how.

To start with you need a Google cardboard. You can build your own by downloading the instructions from or buy one from either Amazon or Flipkart, and they cost anywhere between Rs 99 to Rs 900. Remember there is no official seller, Google just gives out the plans and if you are looking to get into business, you can even build and market your own Cardboards.

The Cardboard is as the word says a piece of cardboard with two lenses. You park your phone in a slot, and play virtual reality (VR) content, and your mind is tricked into as if you are inside the scene. For really immersing experience, put on your headphones.

One other thing that you require is your smartphone, this has to be Android preferably, or an iPhone. In case you are on a Windows or a BlackBerry you will sadly have to wait for a bit as there are no supporting applications. While Google has the Cardboard app for both Android and iPhone we give you more options.

Google 360 degree on Youtube

Head on to Youtube and search for the Google 360 videos. The results give you a host of content from Conan O’ Brien to Avicii’s latest music videos. Turn your head up, left or right and you are in the middle of the action. Some of the videos also have surround sound, and you may hear a tone the moment you turn left, and it may diminish when you turn right.

Mercedes VR for Cardboard

Imagine going full-speed down on a highway or up the Goodwood Hill in an AMG GT without spending a single penny. Download the app, put the phone in the cardboard, fire it up and have an experience. Yes, it is short of the real thing, but it is amazing, making you wonder how a piece of cardboard is doing that with your phone.

Lanterns for Google Cardboard

Why wait till those cool evenings, or for the rain to stop before you launch a wish lantern, get the lanterns for Google Cardboard, and you can be surrounded by lanterns lighting the full night sky. The lantern festival that is celebrated across China, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia can now be enjoyed from the comfortable environs of your home, and you don’t even have to waste paper or leave a carbon footprint.

Paul McCartney

Imagine sharing the stage with Sir Paul McCartney while he performs Live and Let Die. The sound is recorded in stereo 3D to give you an immersing audio experience. Though this is the only sound track available right now, it opens up a whole new world of experience.


The Google Cardboard is simply a piece of paper folded out with some optics, but what it can do is magical, it opens up possibilities of new learning – imagine your child experiencing a country without being there, imagine walking through a store without worrying about all the mad traffic out there and getting the experience of shopping, or driving the next car without worrying about all those sales people at the dealership. VR was only for a select few and now it is available for the masses.

If you have an Android phone, get yourself a Google Cardboard. Build it on your own or buy it online, it promises an experience that will at the least show you a brand new world — albeit virtual.