Do you own an LG G3? Do you want to try the whole “phone VR” thing that Samsung and Google make happen? You might just get that chance (might being the operative word).
Since it was shown mid-last year, Google’s Cardboard has been a hit with geeks and gamers keen to try the whole virtual reality thing, mostly because it’s cheap and works with lots of different phones.
And when we say cheap, we mean it. Google’s Cardboard is named that because it is literally a bit of cardboard folded in several places and equipped with two basic lenses, a ring magnet, and a slot for you to push your phone through. Some people even call it “Oculus Thrift” because it’s essentially a budget version of the not-yet-released Oculus Rift VR headset, which the Samsung Gear VR is partly based on.
With Google Cardboard, you load up apps made for the concept. Once the right software running on the phone, the screen is split into two and your eyes do the math, seeing a virtual world and letting the phone’s accelerometer let you look around a scene as you move your head.
Telstra even took the opportunity to give some Google Cardboard headsets away at the end of last year, making the cardboard accessory available so people could experience the New Year’s Eve fireworks from up high after they were captured on video by a 360 video camera-equipped drone.
But there’s more out there than just fireworks videos, with games, rollercoaster demos, short films, music concerts, and lots of experiences that aim to pull you into the world that is virtual reality, before companies like Oculus, Valve, and Sony release the high end VR goods to the world.
In February, LG showed that it could play at the same VR party too with its “VR for G3” concept, an idea that was basically Google Cardboard made out of plastic. Now, it’s ready for release to Australia and we can tell you exactly what it is.
It’s Google Cardboard in plastic. There, we said it.
Actually, it’s Google Cardboard in plastic made specifically for the LG G3 phone, with a slot carved out of the back so you can use the rear keys. There’s even a slim hole in the sides for attaching a strap, but there’s no strap included, so you’ll have to factor that one in for yourself if you want to wear the headset comfortably.
In essence, it’s the entry-level version of Samsung Gear VR, albeit made for LG’s 2014 flagship phone, and given that the G3 shares the same screen resolution as the Note 4, is similar in at least one way. That said, experiences made for the Gear VR aren’t necessarily going to be compatible, and the touchpad controls offered by the Gear VR aren’t the same as the simple magnet you’re using with the G3 VR.
There’s also a difference in availability.