Google Cardboard and Other 360 Viewers
For how inexpensive and readily available 360° viewers are, it’s hard to think that people everywhere don’t have at least a cardboard viewer in their home. Working through Perception Engineering has really opened my eyes to all the advantages of using these headsets. Not only for engineering fields, but for other things such as entertainment and education. This blog will highlight some key features when selecting which headset will work best such as comfort, price, and functionality. The 3 viewers that we’ll be comparing are a D-Scope Pro Google Cardboard, Google Daydream View, and Samsung Gear VR.
D-Scope Pro Google Cardboard
Comfort: The cardboard can be uncomfortable for extended use
For someone just starting to get into virtual reality or 360° viewing, a Google Cardboard device is great. It’s fairly inexpensive and can do just about all the things the bigger headsets can do with some limitations on interactivity. This viewer specifically comes with a sweat shield, an option head strap, and some change out lenses. For viewing photos quickly, I would recommend using something like this rather than one of the other headsets in this blog. It will give you the same view as the others, maybe sacrificing some quality, but it gets the job done for simple viewing. This will also work with any phone that can fit within its preview window.
Comfort: Comes with foam around the lenses and a non-removable strap
For more advanced viewing and interaction, the Google Daydream can do much more than the simple cardboard viewers. These headsets come with a motion controller for easier menu navigation and create a more immersed experience when using the device. This is lightweight and prevents less light bleed than the regular cardboard viewer. One downside to this viewer is that a DayDream ready phone is needed to access some of this content. The headset can still be used as a normal viewer with other phones, but you won’t be able to use the controller with them. The list of compatible phones is listed on the Google Daydream website.
Comfort: More supportive cushions around lenses and removable head strap
Finally, we have one of the higher end headsets that contains not only more content, but the ability to do more with this content. The Samsung Gear VR comes with the controller that can do more. The controller is also motion tracked and has a touch pad for more immersed experiences. Many of these buttons are also included on the headset if this method is preferred for interacting rather than with the controller. One downside, like the Google Daydream, is that only certain phones are compatible with this headset. It is also a little bulkier than some of the other headsets being that it’s made of plastic rather than cardboard or cloth, but that will provide some strength and rigidity for extended use. The device also provides venting to prevent foggy lenses while letting in as little light as possible.
When it comes to these headsets, it all boils down to what the user is looking for in a viewer. If they are looking for something simple for viewing images and they don’t need all the extra items, something like a cardboard viewer is perfect. If they’re looking for the ability to do more than just view objects, a Google Daydream or Samsung Gear would be best. Some key things to look for when selecting a headset would be budget, what the planned usage will be, and compatibility with the phones to be used. Enjoy your virtual reality experiences!