Watch VR on the Cheap: All About Google Cardboard

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You’ve heard about virtual reality headsets, and you know there are affordable ones out there.

(The famous Oculus Rift will run you about $600, so obviously this isn’t for everyone.)

But where, exactly, can you look for a good VR headset on the cheap?

You can get your virtual feet wet with Google Cardboard and other innovative companies that are making Google Cardboard compatible devices.

These guys currently have a selection of ultra-affordable headsets on the market. In fact, if you go to a local tech-oriented convention, you could even get one for free.

What do the devices do? Basically these headsets are best for letting you view 360 degree video. And as an added bonus, they’re helping us save the planet.

Let’s face it, VR technology and how we see it is bound to change drastically and fast in the near future.

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For once, you can now support a tech device that is highly recyclable, resulting in far less plastic and metal waste going to your local dump, if and when you upgrade, which is a great thing.

What it’s like to use these? It’s true that you won’t be walking around in a virtual paradise in your living room when you use a cardboard device. You will, however, get a delicious first taste of participating in a virtual environment by enjoying videos that do things like take you skydiving in 360 degrees, and whip you around on real roller coasters.

Here’s a look at 8 of the most affordable, planet-friendly, amazingly entertaining VR headsets you can buy:

 1) Google Cardboard $20.00

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Type: Android and iOS phones

Screen Size: 4 to 6 inches

Google’s basic, undecorated cardboard viewer will get you set up and into the world of VR in minutes. No frills on this one, except for a small Google logo, in the corner. But lots of fun.

2) V2 $14.99

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Type: Android and iOS devices

Screen Size: up to 6 inches

I Am Cardboard’s VR headset comes in a variety of colours, including yellow, red, blue, black, white and ‘kraft’ (code-speak for ‘cardboard colour’).

This headset requires some very light assembly (10 seconds), which means that you can also keep it upright or fold it down, when not in use. Labeled “the easiest way to experience virtual reality on your smartphone”.

3) Pocket 360 $9.99

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Type: Android and iOS devices

Screen Size: 6 inches

I Am Cardboard also produces this set of virtual reality glasses, that are, we’re going to argue, actually easier to use than the V2. Just look at them- does it get any simpler?

These viewers offer “pocket-sized fun” that clamps onto the screen of your smartphone. The device comes in a protective slipcase, and is available in orange, blue, green, black, yellow and red.

4) POWIS ViewR $14.95 – $39.99

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Type: Android and iOS devices

Screen Size: 4-6.5 inches

Powis is currently doing a great thing. The brand is donating $25 from every purchase of a PowisVR to Kids & Art, to help heal pediatric cancer with art.

The headsets are brandable- put your company’s name on it, and join NASA, who’s already done it- and come in artistic shells.

Unlike the others listed so far, this devices also comes with a head strap and foam around the edges and for a more comfortable fit.

 5) Virtoba $8.99

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Type: Android and iOS devices

Screen Size: 3.5- 6 inches

With Virtoba, you get a headset that sits somewhere between those from Google and Powis. It’s made from untouched cardboard but users also get a head strap, and a foam covered nose piece, for a bit of comfort.

6) Geekhom DIY Set $7.99

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Type: Android and iOS devices

Screen Size: 6 inches

This DIY headset allows you to feel the complete accomplishment of self-made construction. With GEEKHOM, you get a pre-cut kit to assemble your own VR headset. It comes complete with foam edges and a head strap.

7) Pop! 3.0 approx. $18.75

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Type: Android and iOS devices

Screen Size: 6 inches or less

This headset is made in Germany, and constructed from almost 90% recycled cardboard. It comes in a funky design and a portion of proceeds is donated to charitable projects, making it even more attractive. No head strap include, but foam edging is on the nose piece.

8) P2 $17.50

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Type: Android and iOS devices

Screen Size: “Works with all smartphones”

This headset made by DodoCase is said to fit all eye-glasses, which is great if you wear them. It also folds flat for easy storage and transport, and comes with a “fortified nose bridge”. Buy two at a discount, for $25.

OK, so now you’ve chosen a viewer. In terms of content Vrse, Jaunt, Ryot, IM360, and other apps offer VR video, Cardboard Crash is fun, as well as and the Brickbreaker game Proton Pulse.

And you can check out YouTube’s 360 Degree Channel for more immersive VR videos. Happy viewing!

 

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