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How Google Cardboard Works (Tech Info for Non-Tech People)

From the get-go, Google Cardboard has always been about bringing virtual reality to practically everyone. Yes, that includes non-techies; you know, non-gamers, non-geeks - pretty much ordinary people who own a smartphone.

Its design is bare-bones and open-source, meaning it's available to anyone and can be modified according to personal preference. The realm of virtual reality can seem intimidating at first, but you can actually use Google Cardboard with just a few simple steps.

1. Get a smartphone (of course!).

You can use Google Cardboard if you have a smartphone. Simple as that.

Some models compatible with I AM Cardboard include Nexus 6, Samsung Note 2, 3 and 4, Oneplus One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5, Nexus 4 and 5, Moto X, and iPhone 6. Size isn't an issue. Regular-sized smartphones can use the basic VR Cardboard Kit, while bigger models will fit into its Giant versions.

2. Assemble your I AM Cardboard headset.

Bigger version with NFC tag Bigger version with NFC tag

Designed by tech geeks for non-tech folks, the I AM Cardboard headset is easy to assemble. Each model comes with clear instructions on how to fold and put together that it's practically idiot-proof. It will take five minutes at most to assemble it. Your smartphone's screen serves as the viewing screen, and its speakers provide audio. There are no other peripherals needed for a full virtual experience!

3. Download the Google Cardboard app.

There is a simple app that teaches first-time Cardboard users how to launch your favorite VR apps. Its demos include YouTube, Tour Guide, Exhibit, and more. These give you virtual experience from viewing your favorite videos, to serving as your local guide to exotic places, through to allowing you to view cultural artifacts from various angles. Having this app also allows the merely curious to become more familiar with the virtual reality experience.

4. Choose your favorite apps and games.

Now it's time to play pretend, but in a more sophisticated, immersive way. Over two hundred Cardboard apps are currently available on Google Play to download for your Cardboard VR headset. You can use it for practical purposes like a city or landmark interactive tool, an educational medium to learn about spatial relationships of objects, or as a virtual map for exploring different locations. As for entertainment, you will not run out of fun VR things to do with games, theater, music, and videos.

The cardboard can also with used with any VR website that you can load up on your phone web browser, such as one that gives you a virtual tour of any US university.

5. Have fun!

With your I AM Cardboard virtual headset ready, there should be no stopping you from enjoying all that it has to offer. You can have the same virtual experience at a fraction of what high-end VR headsets cost. For those born in the 80s, the Cardboard is like a more promising version of the View-Master, with both requiring just a couple of clicks to enjoy. The huge difference is that you can lose yourself in the virtual world of your choice while sitting or standing comfortably!

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