You got a Google Cardboard for Christmas and now you want to find the best content for you and your friends to enjoy. Because that’s what it’s all about. Experimenting, learning and sharing experiences with other people. Most of the content is gimmicky and you most probably won’t watch a full movie or do anything particularly productive with your GC. Either way, here’s a mixed top list of our favorite content:
Note: Most of the experiences are best with headphones.
1. Google Cardboard App (Android and iOS)
Might sound trivial but a great starting point is the Google Cardboard app.
The Android and iOS apps are slightly different and include the following great demos:
- Earth Fly where your fancy takes you on Google Earth (Android only)
- Explorer Explore exciting environments with random examples (iOS only)
- Tour Guide Visit Versailles with a local guide (Android only)
- My Videos Watch your videos on a massive screen (Android only)
- Exhibit Examine cultural artifacts from every angle (iOS and Android)
- Urban Hike Take a hike through iconic cities around the world (iOS)
2. VR Roller Coaster (Android and iOS)
Great app for a first “WOW” experience of what VR is like although not one that you will use every day. The iOS app is by a different developer and not as good.
3. Titans of Space (Android only)
A short guided tour of a few planets and stars, the point of which is to give the player a sense of scale of just how big these planets and stars are compared to each other. In terms of showing the utility and usefulness of VR, this is a great example.
4. Vrse (iOS only)
Probably the best VR app for iPhone. Great collection of content to view and experience. Also has dynamically changing directional binaural sound. A favorite is the 360-degree recording of Jerry Seinfeld’s monologue from Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special. Vrse unfortunately also highlights the limitations of Google Cardboard paired with an iPhone — the screen resolution is too low, and the responsiveness isn’t quite enough.
5. Insidious VR (Android and iOS)
You’re in a room with a woman who’s talking directly at you before the haunted house-style surprises begin. The non-interactive demo puts you in creepy rooms where things get very dark, very quickly.
6. New York Times VR App (Android and iOS)One of the first media companies to invest in the Cardboard experience for their customers. Through virtual reality, The New York Times puts you at the center of the stories reported by journalists all told through an immersive video experience. NYT sent out over 100,000 cardboards to readers in 2015.
7. Zombie Shooter (Android and iOS)
Yes, you have to try out a game and there are a few pretty good titles. This one is a rails shooter where you simply look at the zombies and the game will automatically shoot at them. Have fun!
8. VR Cosmic Rollercoaster (Android)
Another great roller coaster option! Who doesn’t love a good amusement park?
9. Cardboard Camera (Android)
Cardboard Camera lets users take, 360-degree panoramic 3D photographs, that can then be viewed using the headset. Architect Daily highlighted the app as a potential useful app for architects although it’s still complex to manage and share your photo sphere photos.
So are there any useful apps that help us perform our jobs? In the business world we’ve seen Audi and Ferrari equipping their dealers with VR headsets for customers to configure and experience their new cars. Healthcare doctors based in Miami have also started to use Cardboard to plan their surgeries. Real estate agencies allow home buyers to view a property before visiting. Travel agencies demonstrate hotel resorts virtually before booking a holiday. Finally, mechanics have experimented with cardboard to help guide maintenance and repairs of cars.
It’s still early days for VR and there are lots of opportunities still to be explored. For greenfield ideas this also means great potential for PR.
Enjoy your Google Cardboard!