This is the first review on the Dad Lad blog. Google Cardboard doesn't really give you a clue as to what it is from the name. It refers to the viewer which is used to watch Google Cardboard enabled Apps or videos which are 3D and virtual reality.
I ordered a viewer from Amazon and it was a basic model. The viewers range from cardboard up to more sophisticated models with Bluetooth remotes.
You can use the viewer with your smartphone (mines an iPhone) to watch 3D movies and play games.
The basic model comes flat-packed and needs assembling; it took me about 5 minutes and you need some sticky tape. Once built, I tried the Google Cardboard App and Jakku Spy section of the Star Wars App. The 3D and virtual reality is certainly engaging and I can imagine some good uses for encouraging writing in the classroom.
The Google Cardboard App allows you to explore some famous destinations like the Eiffel Tower and even Mars. There is also a Kaleidoscope feature which has some really interesting 3D effects.
The Star Wars App has you working as a Jakku Spy and watching the Millennium Falcon fly over head is a particularly nice moment.
After using the viewer for even a short period it was causing irritation to the bridge of my nose and my phone tended to move which effected the viewing. I added some felt to cushion my nose and some blu-tac to stop my phone moving. These minor tweaks resolved the issues with minimum effort.
I then tried a few more Apps and Videos:
One downside of using your smartphone as a dual screen 3D virtual reality headset is that it halves the resolution as each half of the screen is used to display the same image so there is some noticeable reduction in video quality.
Overall Google Cardboard and the Apps do provide a 3D virtual reality experience on a budget; however it still feels like a bit of a gimmick. This may change in the months ahead as more Apps and Videos include the feature. I can definitely see some uses in the classroom to engage and enthuse children in their writing.
Hope this review helps and leave any comments or thoughts you have on Google Cardboard below.