Tuesday 25th June 2014 – 10:55 AM PDT, Level 3 – Room 8 – Moscone Center, San Francisco. 2014 Google I/O Keynotes is about to end, world famous investors, innovators, and technical journalists joined by millions of Youtubers are carefully listening to Sindai Pichai (Google Senior Vice President Android, Chrome, and Apps) introduce a mysterious#cardboard. If there was a time where virtual reality was reserved for wealthy and privileged elite, then at this moment it just came to its end.
Friday 25th July 2014, one month later to the day, I was finally able to put my hands on this enigmatic item. One burning question was then coming to my mind, how could this simple piece of cardboard change the very closed world of VR (Virtual Reality)? Let’s then try to discover this #cardboard and figure out how this small item could have an impact on business life.
Enough words, time for action. Here is the Google #cardboard and what you can physically do with it.
Your first reaction might be “Wahoo! I want one!” just followed by “Hey, wait a minute, is that a smartphone there?” and the answer is “Yes”. Google #cardboard is not self-sustained – the smartphone is not even the most important piece of it.If you really want to play with it you better have one of these devices: Google Nexus 4 and 5, Motorola Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5, or Samsung Galaxy Nexus. HTC One, Motorola Moto G, and Samsung Galaxy S3 are partially compatible. It will just not work with any other device. So if you do not have such equipment then this is now the right time for you to acquire your next gear.
Once the device problem has been properly handled, you are now almost ready for your first #cardboard experience. Almost? Yes. To make the best of it, Google has developed the #cardboard app available on Google Play. You might also be interested to know how to use your new gadget. Here again Google made it really simple for users with two actions:
- Validate: Pull the down the small ring on the left side of the box.
- Go back to home screen: Simply rotate your device 90°.
That’s all you need to know. So app installed and started? Then place your device in the #cardboard and let’s meet again in your first Google virtual reality encounter.
Trying #cardboard for the first time has pretty much always the same effect, “the Wahoo” effect. Your first contact with this new world will then be a menu of 7 apps:
- Tour Guide: Visit Versailles with your personal tour guide.
- Exhibit: Discover & inspect cultural items.
- Windy Day: Funny interactive animation, best for kids.
- Earth: Become superman and fly all over the world!
- YouTube: Welcome to the next generation of the famous video sharing platform.
- Photo Sphere: Jump inside your own pictures (Photosphere).
- Street Vue: Want to visit Paris on a sunny day?
Okay, we get it. Google #cardboard is cheap, fun, and ingenious, but what about next steps, what about business application? Well, based on private and business feedbacks here are the potential applications:
- Education: Visiting historical places, visualizing molecular structures, exploring architectural blueprints, etc. Education is really the most promising sector for such technology. The cheap price is also a strong asset.
- Property business: Want to rent your new flat? Then just build a virtual tour of your place and publish it on the web. Your prospect will then be able to visit their next living room without moving from their current sofa.
- Corporate Presentation: Want to show that your company is on the leading edge of innovation? Then build a presentation of your business activities on Google #cardboard. This is sure impress customers and investors.
- Video Games: This industry has always tried to improve immersion in gaming. #cardboard is able to offer one of most exciting ways to play – you are just simply in the game.
I hope your enjoyed this short journey into VR, and because there is no innovation without fun, you can now win a cardboard! Just leave a comment within the next three days on the topic “How could #cardboard change the business world?” Enjoy!