I recently discovered Google Cardboard, a pair of Virtual Reality glasses built out of cardboard (and your iPhone). My first experience was quite life-changing. OK, that may be a little over-dramatic, but it certainly impacted me in a strong way. My first viewing was of a food drop to refugees in the middle of South Sudan. The feeling of being there to experience that with them was mind-blowing. It was actually very emotional and got me thinking about the experiences that come from these tiny little flat pack glasses.
Virtual Reality has long been anticipated, but the general pricing structure was way over the average budget, especially since it was initially geared at hard-core gamers who were willing to spend a couple thousand dollars to achieve an epic gaming experience.
A recent article I read on Mashable analyzed the impact Google Cardboard has had since being released. The surprising statistics showed the most popular viewing experiences were of VR films over games, especially using the app Vrse, which publishes various VR videos and documentaries, and collaborated with the New York Times to create a virtual New York City.
A recent trip back to Liverpool had me packing these nifty little glasses in my suitcase so I could show my 70+ year old aunties—who can barely use a 90s flip phone—what this VR stuff was about. This came with a lot of laughter and tears as they experienced U2 serenading them with “Song for Someone” whilst transporting you around the world.
These cardboard glasses have, in my opinion, opened up a world of wonder for people of all ages who wouldn’t necessarily ever come into contact with Virtual Reality. For only $9 you shouldn’t miss out on trying them! Until you experience it, you can’t ever imagine what Virtual Reality will be like. It allows us to see the world through digital eyes, expose us to new, amazing experiences, and at the same time, witness life from other people’s perspectives, be that good or bad.