We are always looking for new ways to explore the world. Whether you are a travel junkie or can’t get enough of Rick Steves on PBS, seeing the world differently is part of the adventure.
In 1838, Sir Charles Wheatstone’s invention of the Stereoscope gave us 3D views of images. More recent devices such as realist-format 3D slide viewers and the View-Master have utilized photographs for the viewing experience. Last year, Google jumped on board with their 3D viewing option, Google Cardboard, which creates a virtual reality experience with your smart phone. With Google Cardboard, Google offers millions of consumers the opportunity to travel the world while never leaving home as they create their own 3D adventure or play virtual games with a new level of detail.
With the use of Google Cardboard your phone picks up movements using the accelerometer included in the phone, and the 3D effect is real. As Lloyd Alter points out in his article about Sustainable Product Design:
What a powerful educational tool this could be, you can go anywhere. I was thinking of the hiking trips I might take while on a treadmill; touring the space station. Google already has lots of them. Around the globe, on the surface of Mars, on a dive to coral reefs or back in time — abstract concepts come to life in Expeditions, giving students a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom.
And as wonderful as this could be for students who may never get an opportunity to travel, the possibilities for clients who want a creative way to put out their brand messages are endless. They can create a 3D experience for potential customers to view, or even feel like, they are using the brand’s products. Imagine seeing a can of WD-40 in use, or looking over the latest crackers from Milton’s Craft Bakers. The Google Cardboard can be purchased on Amazon for only $16! You can even make the device on your own with items (rubber bands, magnets, lenses and cardboard) found around the house, using these instructions.
Do I see a new product on the horizon that allows you to smell or taste a product? Ok, I am jumping way ahead here, but it was only 50 years ago The Jetsons made dinner by touching a screen and now we have 3D printers making food. So maybe we have that to look forward to.
If you would like to see how Google Cardboard is assembled, used and why it works, check out this video.