Google CardBoard

My 2 daughters have always been attached to technology due to my own interests in it. My eldest daughter (PS) is almost 4 years old. My youngest daughter (JS) only a mere 1.5 years old. Watching them as they grow with technology has been quite exciting.

I’ll never forget the day I was sat next to PS, when she quite promptly started talking to the YouTube app on my iPad; I had no idea what she was doing. With her baby talk trying to say “Surprise eggs” I was taken back even more when YouTube, returned the results she was looking for! I had no idea that YouTube, even offered speech! How did my daughter? I suspect through trial and error and having explored the app throughout her time on the iPad

Being a Web Developer, I feel really passionate about teaching my daughters how to programme. With PS in the early stages of reading, I feel it might be a tall order just yet to get stuck into the code she often sees on my screen whilst working. There are other ways to learn programming without working with code - Having finished reading an article on Google Bloks on Mashable, I started to explore these routes in order to start my daughters on the right path - Then I noticed an article on Google Cardboard. I had noticed Cardboard, some time back but had not thought anything about it. Upon reading the article on Google Cardboard, I thought how magical it might be to see my daughters reaction to using this awesome device. 10 minutes later I was emailed with a confirmation of my purchase and I just had to wait for the package to arrive. In the mean time I did some brief research into the apps that where already out there and compatible with Google Cardboard.

Once it had arrived, I promptly opened it and downloaded some of the apps I had been looking at. After a brief play myself, I introduced PS to the headset. I was not disappointed, after watching her walk around the room with this piece of cardboard glued to her head - Bumping into everything and replying with a “Whooooooa” or a “Whooooo” I wanted to do more!

I think I have downloaded every app, currently on the iOS store! I also did some more reading and found out that YouTube offer a Google Cardboard experience for 360 films! Here are a selection of Apps/Videos I feel are well worth trying out -

Sisters: A Virtual Reality Ghost Story

icon175x175It says it all in the title of the app I feel. It’s a horror story experience - I have to admit I think it will make you quite jumpy. I suppose it depends on what makes you jump! The best part if this is the ambient sound; I would recommend trying this app with your headphones in and loud enough to block out other sounds. Not one that I have let my daughters experience, certainly one you should take a look at. Your situated in a room with a settee, mantle piece and various objects covered by blankets oh and a TV that appears to be on the blink. The mantle piece has 2 dolls that looks like each other; as you turn around taking in your surroundings, various things will happen!

VR Crossy

icon175x175I was addicted to the game of this on my iPhone. One of the few apps that managed to live on my phone for more than a week. I have no idea that there was a VR version of this. Fire this up inside the Google Cardboard and you will quickly be faced with an endless stream of vehicles and infinite crossings that you need to make.

Using the button that comes with the Google Cardboard, you can make small jumps forward and back (depending on which way you are facing) The best part is you can actually see the vehicles coming to hit you!

Discovery VR

Discovery VR, offers quite an immersive experience. A series of topics and associated videos such as -

  • Sharks
  • Rhinos
  • People
  • Countries

I think these change semi-frequently (Not sure on this however, new content does seem to appear every so often) The best way to understand this is as how you would imagine the Discovery channel, only you are able to feel as though you are actually on location with them. PS was quite impressed being inside a school of fish trying to escape a great white!

YouTube

Yes, YouTube! The very medium in which has enticed my daughters in their passion, also offer what I feel to be the best experience on Google Cardboard.

You may have seen the 360 images that you can scan from left to right on Facebook. Well I never realised that YouTube, also now have 360 videos from which you can view with any VR headset.

PS, personal faveourite was the Jungle Book trailer which was specifcally made for this purpose. You can load this up within the browser, or the YouTube app - Just make sure to click the Google Cardboard logo to change the video view.

The trailer starts with monkeys walking in front of you. Then King Louie, speaks from behind you. You turn around, then you see just how large this monkey is! I won’t spoil anymore for you - Go and try it!

There really is so many great apps that will make you fall in love with this tech! Give it a go!