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Google Cardboard Quickstart

Google CardboardWritten by: Bryan Tor
Updates provided by: Allen Brown, Bryan Tor, Thomas Sawano, Nirupama Chandrasekhar
Last Updated: Fall Quarter 2019

Content

Google Cardboard turns any smartphone into a pair of VR goggles. All apps mentioned in this article can be found on the App Store or Google Play Store.

 

First, for both Android and iPhone, download the official Google Cardboard app. 
Follow the instructions prompted by the app to secure your phone in the cardboard headset. Make sure it’s tight so the phone won’t slip out. Next: explore. What you try is up to you!

Set-Up and Controls

1. In order to assemble the Google Cardboard, which you will receive as a flat piece of cardboard, flip to find the back of the device, as pictured below. There wil be three small rectangular holes, and a larger curled hole. You can also find the back of the Google Cardboard by locating the side where the Google Cardboard QR code is displayed (as pictured below). 

2. Slot the black slots on the bottom of the viewing panel (the folding part with the eye glass) into the two small, rectangular holes on the back of the Google Cardboard. Make sure it is firmly attached.

3. Flip it over: where the black eyeglass curves up and has a gap, is where your nose fits. 

4. Turn it around until it faces the front, to the flaps with the Velcro straps. This is where your phone fits in. Turn your phone on, open up the Google Cardboard app, and then slot into the gap pictured here. The white flap of cardboard goes over your phone to secure it, and then the Velcro flap straps over to firmly secure your phone within the Google Cardboard.

5. In order to control the Google Cardboard and interact with the VR, slip your finger through the larger hole pictured below, and use to interact with the screen. Follow the instructions on your Google Cardboard screen, and enjoy your VR experience!

Although many of the apps will have different ways of selecting and navigating the menus, most follow one of two basic conventions for navigation:

Looking at something for a few seconds, until it’s selected
Tapping the screen with your finger. 

Viewing 360 Photos

There are many apps which which you can view 360° photos. One of our recommendations is VR Photo Viewer Cropper, available for IOS. To view your own panoramic photos in a 360° environment, launch the app and press the flower-like button on the upper-left-hand corner of the screen. You may be prompted to allow the app to access your camera roll: allow this, and select your desired photo. You can toggle between conventional and stereoscopic camera views using the two buttons on the lower-right-hand corner of the screen; the latter is compatible with Google Cardboard.

For Android, try Google's Cardboard Camera itself. Launch the app and press the Camera button in the lower right corner of the screen. Allow the app to access your photo's photos and galleries, and you will be able to both take your own VR/360 photos, and view any downloaded VR/360 photos on your phone already.

 

Recommended Apps

VR - Virtual Reality Videos: Explore the thrilling heights of the tallest roller coasters and the world beneath the oceans waves in this growing library of 360° videos
Google Street View: Check out your block or go around the world to check out the wonders of the world.
Google Earth: Get a bird’s eye view of the world we live in.