Even though it hasn’t released proper hardware yet like the Samsung Gear VR, Google is still making its presence felt in the virtual reality market. The company already has an inexpensive VR headset solution in the form of Cardboard and it has even expanded that initiative to schools in order to bring more people into the VR fold. Today the company has launched a new app that essentially allows everyone to take VR photos.
Simply put, the Cardboard Camera app for Android turns an average smartphone into a virtual reality camera. Don’t expect results like you would from a virtual reality camera that costs tens of thousands of dollars, but it will be good enough.
Taking a VR picture is simple enough, take out the smartphone and move it around in a circle when taking the photo. When the phone is later placed inside a Google Cardboard viewer you’ll get to see it as a VR photos, allowing you to relive memories in a very immersive environment.
VR photos are basically 3D panoramas that have slightly different views for each eye, this makes near things look near and far things far, and users can look around to explore the image in all directions. One can even record sound with their photo to relive the moment exactly as it took place.
Google’s Cardboard Camera app is now available as a free download from the Google Play Store.