Trevor Claiborne is a product manager for Google Cardboard, and he talks about the evolution of Cardboard from being a 20% side project to now shipping over 500,000 cardboard units. The Google Cardboard was a very secretive project within Google, and a lot of the people who were working on it in their spare time leading up to the initial announcement at Google I/O in 2014.
He talks about some of the design evolution of Cardboard including how the first discovered how they could use a magnet as a button using the phone’s magnetometer. There have also been some small tweaks and improvements to the the design over time.
He talks about the initial perception of Carboard being a joke, but once people get a chance to experience a Cardboard VR experience then they understand it a lot more. Trevor says that Google is serious about Virtual Reality, and it’s just that they’re going at it in a different way than other companies. They’re trying to produce VR experiences that more accessible to more people.
He talks about how Google Cardboard was deliberately designed to not include a headstrap because you hands limit your head motions in a way that helps to prevent nausea. The phone’s sensors are still limited, and they’re just trying to create an optimized VR experience given these constraints.
He talks about some of the future plans with regards to creating a Cardboard experience that fits a “phablet,” and some of the emerging interaction models. A couple of stand-out Google Cardboard experiences that he’s had include VR Cosmic Roller Coaster & Titan of Space for Cardboard.
Trevor says that there are no current plans at this point to add positional tracking, and so they’re using 3DOF head tracking. And he’s looking forward to when VR gets to the point of being able to transport us to another world that’s indistinguishable for reality, and that there are a lot of opportunities for fun and education in VR.
Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio