|By Shelly Palmer||
|July 2, 2014 03:01 AM EDT||
Google recently showed off the future of Android at its I/O conference. The most exciting thing on display might have been a $20 piece of cardboard. Google’s Cardboard project is the company’s take on Virtual Reality – an area of tech that saw Facebook spend $2 billion to acquire VR device maker Oculus. So how does Google’s version work? The unofficial $20 kits include cardboard, lenses, magnets and a rubber band that creates a pair of “goggles” for you to slide your phone into. The system is almost the direct opposite of Oculus’s high-end Rift headset, which requires a hefty investment to experience virtual reality. Google’s inexpensive version – along with its newly-launched VR toolkit – should prompt developers to build support for Cardboard into their apps and services. The virtual reality dream has been around for a while, but has seen a surge in popularity thanks to the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. Google’s Cardboard may turn out to be little more than a gimmick, but it’s got people talking – and that’s a great start.