IMCARDBOARD.COM

Monthly Archives: February 2016

  • VR and the future of social platforms

    According to Mark Zuckerberg, who was present at this year's Mobile Web Congress (2010), virtual reality is the next social media platform.

    From techradar:

    "At Samsung's Unpacked event - where the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge were revealed - Zuckerberg explained about his fascination with VR and how he has been dreaming of using the technology since the age of 11.

    'I always thought there must be a way that's instead of navigating to 2D websites, you could actually be there," said Zuckerberg.

    'Today, thanks to this partnership between Samsung and Facebook that is going to happen and it wouldn't be possible to deliver this experience and price without Oculus technology.

    'One day you're going to be able to put on a headset and that's going to change the way you live, work and communicate."

    While the comment was about Samsung and Facebook (which bought Oculus Rift in 2014), it still pointed towards the potential for VR across different social platforms. While brands and media outlets (such as the Discovery Channel) are already harnessing VR, we're most excited about VR content created by regular people.

    Most DIY virtual reality content comes in the form of 360 videos such as the one below:

    We're still on the lookout for a social network that gives users the tools to publish VR content. With some of tech's greatest innovators on the case, we think it won't be long before such a platform arrives.

  • Virtual Reality Can Put Better Context to Museum Displays

    Art aficionados began to see the exciting possibilities of virtual reality when Disney announced that Salvador Dali's 1935 painting Archeological Reminiscence of Millet's "Angelus" will be brought to life using virtual reality. This hardly comes as a surprise since, as we wrote in a previous article, surrealism and VR blend seamlessly in countless ways.

    But what about the other, non-surreal contexts of museum and gallery displays? For instance, how does one contextualize an ordinary day in the Bronze Age, where no towering, skeletal figures against a backdrop of birdsong, crescent moon, and gloomy skies exist to fire up the imagination? What if museum goers need a real, immersive (and largely unexciting) experience to understand how our ancestors lived, survived, and carved history for themselves and for the rest of civilization?

    Enter the British Museum's 4000-year old roundhouse virtual reality project, which invites visitors to engage in the past in a more intimate way than merely ogling dusty artifacts under glass. The project was launched in the last quarter of 2015, with thousands of young visitors having taken part in the experiment in its first weekend alone. Located at the basement of the museum's Great Court, this first foray into virtual reality and digital interpretation of historical artifacts features three Bronze Age objects that were recently discovered. They are placed within their original context, and augmented with a series of gallery talks to further contextualize their possible purpose and function.

    “The technology is particularly useful for the bronze age, a difficult period for visitors to engage with and imagine museum objects in their original context,” the gallery curator Neil Wilkin said. And while the museum's senior staff admitted that the technology involved (a VR headset and a tablet) took some getting used to, younger staff and students embraced the experience more willingly and with more excitement.

    In the consequent immersions and talks that followed, some very interesting views and theories cropped up: that objects previously judged to be merely ornamental may have more practical functions, and that people did not necessarily "live in filth" 4000 years ago. Given a less "boring" way to look at these artifacts, museum-goers began thinking more critically and looking beyond first impressions, and crafting a more intimate experience of the past in different contexts.

    What was originally seen as something to exclusively augment the gaming technology now has a place in heritage use, thanks to the democratizing effect of Cardboard headsets and its various inceptions. As Salvador Dali once said: "Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision." Virtual reality is finally unshackling the limits of seeing and imagining, and the future is so bright, you gotta wear ---- VR headsets.

  • FAQ: Six dscvr questions answered!

    1. "I want this! Wait. What is this thing again?"

    Easy, buddy. We're here to help you out. The dscvr headset is a virtual reality headset for smartphones. You run VR apps on your smartphone and use the dscvr headset to view them. The gyro of your smartphone tracks your head's movement, giving you a fully-immersive experience.

    The headset was inspired by the Cardboard V2 viewer, but with upgraded materials and features.

    dscvr headset multi

    2. "You mentioned phone. How will my phone stay in place? And will (insert phone model) work with it?"

    IMG_3625

    Your phone will be secured by a silicone flap. Silicone naturally repels dirt and has a strong, grippy surface. You're phone ain't going nowhere when it's strapped in.

    The dscvr headset will also work with lots of different iOS and Android phones; it works best with phones with four- to six-inch displays.

    3. "Interesting. Can I use these with glasses?"

    It depends on the size of your glasses. Larger frames may not fit inside the viewer, but smaller wire frames should fit. To give you an idea, here's the inner width of the viewer:

    dscvr headset measurement

    4. "What makes this unique from other VR headsets?"

    By far the coolest feature of the dscvr headset is the spring-loaded chassis. When not in use, the rear half of the body slips over the front, reducing the headset's thickness by almost half. When you're ready to use it, press both buttons to extend the chassis.

    dscvr a super portable VR kit

    5. "I saw your Kickstarter campaign. What makes the headset 'roadworthy'?"

    bag

    Most cardboard headsets don't really travel very well; you can't just toss them into your bag before hitting the road. The dscvr headset addresses that. It's totally sturdy and ergonomic- and it even has a hard carrying case. This is the viewer for having VR adventures while you're out having real ones.  So, yeah. It's roadworthy!

    6. "Can I have a dscvr headset with (insert custom design and/or picture of pet) printed on it?" 

    If you want a custom VR headset, getting a custom V2 kit would be the easiest, most cost-effective option. Learn more by emailing cs@imcardboard.com.

3 Item(s)