Google Cardboard is a project that can turn just about any recent iPhone or Android phone into a virtual reality device. Just follow Google’s instructions for assembling a VR headset from a piece of cardboard and insert your phone to use it as the brains and screen of the system… or buy a pre-made kit. There are plenty available for around $5 – $30.
But what’s a Windows phone user to do? Microsoft may have an answer for that.
The website for an upcoming hackathon in Russia highlights something called the Microsoft VR Kit, a Cardboard-like device that turns a Lumia smartphone into virtual reality headset.
The idea is to get developers to create virtual reality apps and games for phones running Windows. There’s not much information about the VR Kit itself, the website mentions tools and code templates for creating VR apps and participants in the hackathon will be able to attend educational lectures, bounce ideas off one another, and meet with folks from Microsoft, so it does seem like the VR Kit is something that’s officially sanctioned by Microsoft.
The Microsoft VR Kit seems to have a cut-out for the camera, suggesting that the company envisions VR apps that can take advantage of the camera to snap photos, videos, or perhaps create augmented-reality situtations where virtual objects are overlaid on real-world environments captured with a smartphone camera.
I guess Microsoft must try to be in on that…
Going to Russia with this is actually a good idea. Russian programmers know how to squeeze every last bit of power out of a processor…
But with the tiny installed base, who is going to care afterwards?
And then Microsoft’s habit of falling over its own feet, making disruptive changes, abandoning every new effort in short order.
I just don’t have time to waste with Microsoft’s never ending shenanigans. If I see them actually stick to supporting this for a decade or so, maybe I’ll change my mind that Microsoft is all about bullshit.
Actually, Cardboard also has a camera cutout: https://developers.google.com/cardboard/
Whoops. Did the first version lack it? I looked up cardboard when writing this and saw images of versions without the camera cut out.
Updating that kind in the post now.
Not sure why they omitted it in the one on their main page (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/), but the reference designs definitely have the cutout.
Since the Google one is just cardboard, would it not be easy to cut out a hole for the camera?
The Microsoft project seems very interesting.
Good morning Brad, just to point out a minor mistake, … just follow Microsoft’s instructions….
Thanks. It’s been a long weekend (The pope just left Philly 🙂
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