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Cardboard Hits Half a Million Mark, Gets an SDK 28

PC Magazine reports (citing a blog post from project manager Andrew Nartker) that Google's Cardboard -- first introduced to some laughter -- is growing up, with a small but growing collection of compatible apps and a recently announced SDK. And while Cardboard itself is pretty low-tech (cardboard, rubber band, a magnet) and consequently cheap, the resulting VR experience is pretty good, which explains why more than 500,000 of them have now shipped.
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Cardboard Hits Half a Million Mark, Gets an SDK

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  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Saturday December 13, 2014 @11:53AM (#48589035)

    Yeah there are lots of cardboard boxes this time of year

  • by envelope ( 317893 ) on Saturday December 13, 2014 @12:14PM (#48589115) Homepage Journal

    "I bought cardboard when it was only 14 cents a ton. And it's up to what, 16 cents now? Well, I bought three tons of it. So that's about...well, you do the math. Plus I made a special deal where I only have to keep 2 tons of it at my house."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, why would anyone think this is a joke? You have a screen. Attach some convex lenses (like very strong reading glasses) in front (cost like $1 or $2) and put your image on the screen in front of them.

    Heck, you can even have these lenses adjusted for prescription of a given person.

    Especially with the "retina displays", these things will produce very nice resolution and you have automatic 3D.

    Cardboard is just to hold your device and lenses at proper distance from each other and attached to your head

    • not as sturdy as plastic

      If I remember the steps correctly, the next step in your case would be Order another pizza You owe it to yourself to check it out at least before dropping all that cash on the Occulus (Rift).

    • Because it sounds like a joke. The pre-printed cardboard probably fits only one phone type, the response on most phones is not good enough to do head tracking very well, network response is too slow and this completely depends on that since there is no local computer to do the processing. I can barely get my phone to search on google in a responsive manner.

      On the other hand Oculus Rift sounds like a joke also.

      • "The pre-printed cardboard probably fits only one phone type"

        - not necessarily. As far as I could tell it handles a range of sizes, though the info was less than clear about that.

        "the response on most phones is not good enough to do head tracking very well"

        - ah - but it does! It has a novel and innovative strapless design that forces you to hold this thing up to your head with booth hands. Then you cannot move your head around quickly, because you are now limited to trunk movements.

  • Wow! Great! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Out of pure curiosity to see how far this technology can go, does anyone know of a porn site using this?

    Like I said, just for research purposes.

  • Has Google made any 3D printer version available for download?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, Most printers will jam if you use anything heaver than card stock. Most cardboards are too thick..

  • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Saturday December 13, 2014 @12:49PM (#48589223) Homepage

    The head tracker API returns a 4x4 matrix from the sensors:

    public void getLastHeadView (float[] headView, int offset)
    Provides the most up-to-date transformation matrix.
    headView An array representing a 4x4 transformation matrix in column major order.
    offset Offset in the array where data should be written.

    I wonder how reliable the translation information is. The angle seems to work quite well from the apps I have checked, but no app is trying to use translation information. Having it available, if it is reliable enough, would enable a whole lot of new cool applications.

    Did anyone test this?

  • The lastest cardboard app (the 1.3) is broken for me(display drivers?), but the cardboard is for sale at 5 dollar in China [] (paypal recommended)

    That is including cardboard,lenses,magnets, velcro and shipping.

    I might not be at your doorstep before chrismas, but such a small amount is nice for 10 minutes of fun.

  • I'd love to see support for the iPhone 6+ through Unity.


  • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Saturday December 13, 2014 @02:52PM (#48589847) Homepage

    Where did the 500k number come from? As google isn't selling the kits, is it an estimate of the big suppliers?
    Also, as the $25 for a simple cardboard contraption is kindof rediculous, my guess is a lot of the people are
    opting to build their own so there is probably a lot more than that out there.
    If google really wants it to take off, they should start selling the kits for $5 a piece and maybe a more durable
    plastic version for $25. If google's not up to the logistics, they could put them up on amazon.
    Ok, scratch that, it does look like there are already some low cost 3rd party versions for under $10 on amazon
    with free shipping.

    • Both of those are available.

      Ebay lists cardboard versions for between $5 and $15.
      3D printed alternatives are around the $20 mark.

    • cardboard is cheap. when I went to find the specific lens they called for, it ran $10-15. Maybe I could have gotten that cheaper, but I'm no optics guy and I had really little clue what I could safely swap. When I read about the cardboard, it recommended a specific thickness and weight that wasn't what my standard boxes had (closer to pizza box I think?). So, I paid $10 for some cardboard that was already stamped and cut as I needed and was the right thickness, and came with the recommended lens and oth

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