Looking for an easy and affordable way to give this whole virtual reality craze a try? It doesn’t get much simpler than Google Cardboard… and right now it doesn’t get much cheaper either, because Google is giving away free Star Wars-themed Cardboard headsets.
Just visit the Play Store, choose you design (R2-D2, BB-8, Kylo Ren, or First Order Stormtrooper) and Google will send you one for free. Slide your Android or iOS phone into the headset, fire up a mobile app, and place your eyes against the lenses and you can immerse yourself in virtual environments, play VR games, or just sit back and watch virtual big-screen movies.
Note that Google seems to have limited stock… and appears to be offering only a certain amount at a time. If you don’t see a “free” button to click when you visit the website, try again later. Or if you don’t want to play games, just pony up a few bucks for a cheap Cardboard-compatible headset from Amazon, AliExpress, or other retailers.
Not surprisingly, there are a few caveats to this offer:
- The deal is only open to US residents.
- You can only get one cardboard headset per Google Store account.
- You’ll need a valid payment method, even though the price of the headset is $0 and there’s no charge for shipping.
Looking for some VR apps to use? Star Wars recently added the first of a series of VR experiences to its official app. And Google has a nice, but hardly comprehensive list of other apps that work with Cardboard. A few of my favorites include VR Theater for Cardboard, NYT VR, and Titans of Space.