With technological developments continuing to move forward at a scary rate I’m pleased to report on a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way to bring yourself up to date in one very entertaining area.

How to Turn Your Smartphone into a VR Headset
How to Turn Your Smartphone into a VR Headset

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality or immersive multimedia capability has been with us for some time but typically confined to high end gaming and specialist applications.

Way back in 1968 Ivan Sutherland the renowned computer scientist and Internet pioneer created the very first VR headset, although it was so heavy the unit needed to be suspended from the ceiling.



Almost 50 years later and we now finally have the technology in our own hands and a headset that can be made of…..cardboard!

So how do you enter the VR world via your Smartphone?

  1. Order your headset. No this won’t cost you hundreds of pounds or dollars, I picked my headset up for £10 Check out this linkhttps://www.google.com/get/cardboard/get-cardboard/ you can also search Amazon for Google Cardboard compatible headsets there are plenty to choose from.
  2. Now whilst you’re excitedly awaiting the postman go to your smartphone and search for the Google Cardboard App. Whilst you’re there you can also look for and download a number of VR apps such as flight simulator, roller coaster and VR designed games.
  3. When the headset arrives you might need to engage your local IKEA Ninja to make sure it’s properly constructed. Don’t worry it’s not too complicated but remember it will be housing your smartphone so make sure it can’t easily slip out.
  4. Follow the instructions and load an app on your smartphone place it into the headset and enjoy the ride.

The Google Cardboard App comes with a variety of experiences not least the opportunity to take a virtual tour of locations around the world through Google street view.  This includes trips to the Eiffel Tower, Colosseum in Rome and New York’s Times Square.

This might sound obvious but please remember where you are and avoid viewing your VR World near stairs or objects that you might collide with.  It can be quite disorientating especially when you start. Here’s an example https://instagram.com/p/3lxfFotEZA/ My wonderful daughter Ellie aka Betty, experiencing her first VR moment.

In addition to the headset experience you can view 360 videos now on your smartphones and tablets – here you can turn and twist your device or swipe with your finger to take a complete 360 degree view of the film makers location.

Mike Tompkins uses this to great effect in this video http://youtu.be/Xe6YI-Ax3d0

We are living in an amazing era of technological advancement – the trick now is to find creative ways to use these innovations to connect with customers.  Be prepared for a future of 360 and VR advertising and Christmas frenzy over gaming platforms with VR capability.

Some critics of Google Cardboard say it lacks quality an isn’t as good as it should be.  My view is that it is quite an amazing experience and it can only improve. I’m more a fan than a critic and can already see how this development can be adapted for commercial advantage.

I hope you found this interesting and you take the leap into the VR World.  If you do let me know what you think of the virtual becoming a reality.

How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Virtual Reality Headset
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One thought on “How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Virtual Reality Headset

  • 29th June 2015 at 8:34 pm

    You’ve sold it to me. Sounds a great idea. Gotta give it a try.

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