BY: AYA TSINTZIRAS
Want to go to Paris, travel back in time or ride a rollercoaster? Now you can, and it only costs $25. The future of virtual reality is here, and it’s called the Virtual Reality Cardboard Toolkit.
San Francisco-based tech company DODOcase believes it has made virtual reality easier than ever before. All you need is $25 and 10 minutes. The kit is compatible with Android and iPhone and comes with cardboard that’s already been cut, Velcro, a magnet and bi-convex lenses. Once you’ve folded the cardboard around your phone, all you need is to buy the app and you’re on your way.
DODOcase has merged the old (a cardboard box) and the new (a smartphone) with the goal of selling 1 million kits by January. The company’s MIT-educated CEO, Patrick Buckley, has a background in mechanical engineering and has set his sights pretty high: he wants there to be 50 million virtual reality users by 2015. While talking at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Meet-up in August, Buckley called this cardboard kit the “most accessible entry point for virtual reality available.”
Virtual reality, called cyberspace by sci-fi author William Gibson and also referred to as artificial reality, makes you feel as if you are somewhere else, thanks to computer technology. Its earliest history can be traced back to the 1860s when artists painted murals that were 3-D and panoramic. The most-talked about inventions were Morton Heilig’s 1957 Sensorama, which evoked all the senses through 3-D images, and the 1961 Headsight, a helmet with a video screen that was used for military training. Virtual reality was used often in the ’90s for arcade video games, and of course there’s the 1999 film The Matrix that takes place in a virtual world.
As DODOcase explains, “We believe that the next million virtual reality experiences will happen on smartphones – a device that’s already in your pocket.”
A cool video that showcases the apps: