Google Cardboard VR

I don’t think less than $10 has ever been so fun!

I got myself a cheap v1 Google Cardboard VR kit off eBay for my Samsung Galaxy S3 around when the v2 kit came out. Although the S3 is not 100% supported it does still work.
It’s amazing how it works, you don’t really get any eye strain because your eyes focus as though your looking far into the distance.
(which is weird because you have a screen strapped you your face, about an inch away from your eyes)

It’s very easy to put together in about 5 to 15 minutes. I did a test build and proceeded to pull it apart and swap the magnet over to the other side so that the S3 could detect the magnet. One of them magnetometer type apps really help in locating the best spot to put it. I’ll add that you do need a solid and quick flick of the magnet for the S3 to be able to detect it.

Apps
The official Cardboard app from the Google Play store gives you a good feel for what to expect with VR.
Unfortunately the 3rd party “environments” (apps for cardboard) don’t run on the S3, at least not the couple I tried.

Movies
One of the things I tested was a VR video player. I watched a few misc tv shows with VR Cinema which runs great and looks good. I didn’t have any issues using the app so thumbs up to Mobius Networks.

Games
I also had a go at running Mechwarrior Online with the VR headset using TrinusVR.
Basically what TrinusVR does is it sends your PC’s display to your phone via your wifi.
You need to try to match your games resolution to your phones actual pixel resolution.
On the Galaxy S3, the claimed resolution is 720×1280 pixels on a 4.8″ screen. However it’s more like 360 x 640…

Naturally 1920×1080 ends up looking crammed, 1024 x 768 is what I had to run MWO at to get a fluid connection with a good look, to put it simplistically. Here’s a screenshot of MWO with a photoshopped copy I made to try and show you what it looks like with the headset on.

I’m not 100% happy with how it turned out, I think the center of the image should have a significantly higher amount of bulge.
You can also see the pixels more on the phone then what I was able to simulate in the picture.