Innovation

4 things to know about Google's virtual reality project, Cardboard

Here are 4 ways Google is updating its virtual reality plans

Last year at its I/O developer conference, Google announced Cardboard, its stab at cheap, accessible virtual reality. This year, they detailed further plans to develop the platform and bring their version of VR to basically anyone with with a headset and smartphone.

Here's what Google has changed about Cardboard.

First up, they've redesigned the headset. It requires fewer steps to put together, and it accommodates larger phones, including screens up to six inches. Plus, it's also got a new input button.

Another change is that the Cardboard SDK now supports iOS, which opens the field up to more developers.

And speaking of opening things up, Google also announced an educational program called Expeditions. Expeditions is a VR tool for classrooms that lets teachers use Cardboard to take kids on VR field trips. So, for example, one of the Cardboard demos was a guided tour of the palace of Versailles. That's a lot cheaper and more manageable than taking a bunch of fourth graders to France.

SEE: Why virtual reality could finally mend its broken promise

Finally, Google announced Jump, a tool for capturing VR video. It's three components: a camera, assembler, and player. The camera is pretty intense. Technically, it's 16 of them arranged in a circle. You can get the specs to make your own, like you can with the actual cardboard headset, or, Google's working with GoPro to produce rigs as well. The assembler combines all those high resolution video clips into one, and the player is YouTube. No surprise there.

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About Erin Carson

Erin Carson is a Staff Reporter for CNET and a former Multimedia Editor for TechRepublic.

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