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  • Cardboard Cousins (5 useful cardboard objects of the past)

    It's basic but it doesn't have to be boring. In the not-so-distant past, a piece of cardboard provided us loads of practicality and entertainment.

    With all the possibilities offered by Google Cardboard, we'd be hard-pressed to see the lowly cardboard as only good for carrying pizza (which isn't a shabby purpose at all!). Let's take a closer look at five of the Cardboard kit's ancestors to know how they were made into handy gadgets and other fun stuff.

    1. Pinhole camera

    Basically, cameras are just closed containers with a small hole that create images based on light. No wonder a small cardboard box made for a nifty pinhole camera for many a crafty kid (and adult!). Building this basic camera from scratch and taking pictures with it is an undeniably fulfilling experience.

    Your Cardboard kit is made from the same humble material and offers the same kind of fulfillment, but with more possibilities. For instance, apps like the 3D Camera for Google Cardboard allow you to capture images in 3D with just a simple tap of the screen.

    2. Binoculars and 3D glasses

    I can see you                                                      Photo: Rob via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

    Homemade paper or cardboard binoculars are typical adventure instruments for kids. All it takes are two cardboard toilet paper tubes, string, markers, and other basic tools. And when it comes to a solar eclipse and 3D films, there's nothing like a piece of flat cardboard and some red and blue cellophane to really help you see the majesty! This particular technology, also known as anaglyph glasses, was really the first to utilize 3D imagery.

    Today, your Cardboard kit and your smartphone are the very tools that enable you to experience virtual reality. The lenses are similar to a binoculars', but the possibilities of virtual reality? Well, let's just say they go beyond viewing solar eclipses and seeing images pop.

    3. Music media dock

    Cardboard boxes have long been seen as temporary solutions for storage, insulation, padding, and protection. Even before someone actually designed a cardboard dock for small gadgets like MP3 players and smartphones, the humble cardboard has been used countless times as makeshift holders for cassette tapes, records, CDs, and other musical media.

    Today, your Cardboard kit enables you to try musical apps like the Paul McCartney and Jack White virtual reality videos, and fully enjoy their music as you would in a concert. We're looking forward to more music-based Cardboard apps very soon!

    4. File box

    At some point in our lives, we've used a cardboard box to store our files. It's a reliable catchall for school papers, instruction manuals, receipts, and other important papers we need to keep track of. Now, with apps like Google Street View, you no longer need bulky paper maps to make your way around places. We're predicting more storage apps that keep our files safe, provide hands-free instructions, help with research, and basically make life hassle-free will be available in the coming months.

    5. Adventure vessel

    As a throwback to a more imaginative, innovative time for kids, flattened pieces of cardboard boxes were often used as sleds, and bigger ones as cars and trucks. Add a few marker drawings to depict windows, doors, and tires, and you're ready to roll! With your Cardboard kit ready and a few select apps like the Volvo Reality and the Roller Coaster VR, you can let your imagination run full throttle with a virtual reality test drive or a heart-stopping ride.

  • Five Practical (and Fun) Uses for Google Cardboard

    There was a time when many of us thought virtual reality was nearly impossible, and could only be within reach to those who were:

    1. related to George Jetson, or
    2. very, very wealthy.

    Now, thanks to Google Cardboard, VR is just a few folds away. Even what techies refer to as “entry-level VR” definitely has a lot of uses.  With its easy-to-assemble design and its many  compatible apps, you can have both enjoyable and practical activities at your fingertips.  Let's take a look at five matter-of-fact (but fun!) uses for your Cardboard.

    1. Never get lost.

    Having a virtual map like Google Street View means you can practically never get lost in any city or country you'll find yourself in.  Now, thanks to the Cardboard app and your kit, Google Maps for Android allows you to turn a regular street view into a binocular one. At the same time, you can be all touristy, see the sights,  and view new surroundings the same way you would in real space.

    The Orbulus has become a favorite app among early Cardboard users because it allows you to go anywhere and everywhere. This means famous cities, unexplored locations, holidays in different countries, and even leisurely walks on other planets!

    2. Attend important events and get a first-person view of the action.

    Hong Kong Unrest

    Currently in the works is a new multi-platform app that showcases important news events around the world like the recent Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstration. With it, you can “witness” the event and be part of the audience to really get a feel of what the gatherings were all about. Immersive.ly has produced documentaries in VR and 360-degree videos so users can emotionally connect to the event. This kind of app paves the way for other essential documentaries by journalism outfits to be featured and experienced by anybody and everybody.

    3. Use both hands for DIY projects and other practical stuff.

    A peripheral created specifically for use with VR kits aims to complete the virtual reality experience – while being totally hands-free. This will be extra useful if you need a step-by-step guide on a DIY project or are at the receiving end of fitness instructions. One of I AM Cardboard's products is the EVA, which is a sturdier and more durable version of the Cardboard kits. Best of all, it features a head strap! This handy little accessory makes hands-free VR a lot more doable and useful.

    4. Get entertained.

    Lamper VR

    From games to virtual reality theater, your Google Cardboard will prove to be a handy and entertaining experience for you. Lamper is one such app where you can experience how it is to be a small bug in a huge, threatening world. Go through obstacles and get a real consciousness for what the challenges the games pose. You'll feel like a real winner in the end!

    5. Go see a movie.

    VR Cinema for Cardboard allows you to view your favorite MP4 files into a split-screen versions for a truly immersive cinematic experience. Any movie can become a 3D virtual reality experience with this app and your I AM Cardboard kit. Many other cinematic VR projects are currently being developed or fine-tuned for use with your Cardboard gear. We'll be sure to spread the word as soon as we get wind that they're ready and available for you!

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