You raise a small box with a pair of lenses embedded in one side to your face, and for a couple of minutes you are transported to any of a hundred virtual worlds, each more interesting than the last. You could be shooting meteorites from the helm of your spaceship, staring in amazement as a T-Rex walks past you in search of the next meal, or looking around at strangers jumping up and down at a concert. When you pull the box away from your face, you return to your world and everything is as it was before.
This is Google Cardboard, a VR platform that literally takes a cardboard box with your phone in it and offers everything from passive video to interactive gameplay. If you're not a fan of something disposable and brown, Google has partnered with dozens of other manufacturers to make Cardboard something that works for everyone. Coupled with the huge list of Cardboard-ready apps on the Google Play Store, Google has assembled an inexpensive VR platform with long-term goals in everything from interactive live experiences to education systems in schools.