Google Cardboard

Missing Google I/O doesn't mean you miss out on all the fun

One of the developer gifts handed out at Google I/O was – initially, at least – a perplexing piece of cardboard. What it actually turned out to be was a do-it-yourself virtual reality (VR) headset that could be used to interact with an Android smartphone. The good news for everyone who didn't go to I/O is that you, too, can join in the fun and games by making (or buying, if you're less handy) your very own.

Google has posted the complete instructions to building your own cardboard headset on its developer site. To get started you'll need to acquire some cardboard (of course), lenses, magnets, velcro, a rubber band and an NFC tag. You'll also need an assortment of cutting tools which could include a laser cutter if you so desire.

Google Cardboard

Hit the page link up at the bottom of this post for the full details on exactly what you'll need and how to make it. But, if – like me – you're not so handy, or you just don't want to go out looking for lenses and such items, there is another, easier way. Buy a kit.

The folks at DODOcase have taken Google's instructions for the cardboard headset and used them to create their own version which they'll happily sell to you. You'll still need to perform some basic home construction to put your flat pack together but after that you'll have your very own cardboard headset. Get it with or without an NFC tag for $24.95 or $19.95 respectively.

Beyond the hardware you'll also want to get a copy of Google's Cardboard application which is available in the Play Store – you'll find the link for that up top. It'll give you a variety of immersive demonstrations on just what's possible from sources like YouTube and Google Earth.

If you're looking for something to occupy this weekend, hit the links below and give it a whirl. If you go ahead and get making – or if you've already done it – let us know how you get on in the comments below.