After Google cardboard released, we can start to enjoy the fun of virtual reality in an affordable price. In fact, Google cardboard is not the first affordable VR device in the market. We search on eBay, and find out several affordable VR products to make a comparison for users. Are they working as well as Google cardboard? What else surprise they would bring to us?
The official price is $19.95. You can buy an imitated one from eBay at the same price. While only $9.9 from ITEAD.
Pros: Simple material and easy assembly. Google cardboard is literally assembled by cardboard. You can put your phone as the screen into cardboard’s viewer. When you run an app, you can experience the virtual reality by seeing though the lenses. What’s more, a magnet is used for clicking inside of demos. When you tap twice on the copper tape with your finger, the phone will react as if it had detected a magnet pull.
Cons: As the interpupillary distance of Google cardboard is in accord with Nexus 5, the lenses’ diameter is small. When you experience with a big screen smartphone, it’s hard for you to focus on the image. Sometimes, the magnet is not sensitive so that you have to tap twice or more to make the phone detect. But now, a new upgraded Google cardboard sold on ITENAD’s imall can help you focus on your image easily with a larger lenses diameter inserted.
The price is from $40 to $50 in ebay.
Pros: In the same with Google cardboard, you need to put your phone into the viewer as a screen to experience the virtual reality demos. This device is made of acrylic. You can adjust the viewer to fit for phone screen size from 3.5 to 7 inches. The diameter of lenses is 34mm. Moreover, you can adjust the lenses according to your own interpupillary distance. This device is also equipped with an adjustable head band, a humanized design.
Cons: Once you put your smartphone into the viewer of this device, you are unable to operate the phone any more. Because both left and right sides of your phone will be nipped by the viewer, and there is no way you can control the voice button, which is not convenient for users when they are watching movies or playing 3D games.
Pros: In the same with the products above, you need to put your phone into the viewer as a screen. Most components are fixed together by screws. This device is made of acrylic. If you want to shorten the distance between the phone screen and the lenses, you should loosen the screws. The phone screen from 3.5 to 7 inches is suitable to be playing with this device. The diameter of lenses is as long as 35mm, and you can adjust the lenses according to your own interpupillary distance. There is a small slot in the bottom of this VR device, which can make a finger go through to touch the phone screen. When you put your phone into viewer, there is no block around the phone so that you can feel free to press the voice button. This VR device is equipped an adjustable head band as well.
Cons: It’s not convenient for us to shorten the distance between the phone screen and the lenses by loosening the screws.
Compared to the overall solution of Oculus Rift, the scheme of combining Android mobile phone with support hardware together has realized a low implementation cost. Coupled with the ecological development environment of Android, we believe that there will be more and more VR devices like the Google Cardboard emerging, and more Apps and games supporting such devices in the near future.
If you just want to try experiencing what virtual reality is, choosing Google cardboard is a very good start. You can experience by yourself the forefront of the most popular virtual reality technology in a low cost. However, because the Google Cardboard is made of cardboard, it does not have a very long service life, and it can be easily damaged while using. So if you have a strong confidence in the future of Android virtual reality and plan to buy a VR device with long-term service life, you can consider obtaining a more transitioned plastic VR device. Although it is more expensive than a Cardboard, its price is relatively popular compared with other virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift.