Since about 10 seconds after Google launched its do-it-yourself Cardboard virtual reality headset, other companies have been selling pre-made clones - and Google is totally fine with that.
So WTF is Cardboard anyway? and why are people sticking it up to their face? After you literally fold the cardboard up into the box you see above. You simply slip your phone inside and off you go. It is a similar experience to the Oculus Rift albeit much more basic and you need to hold it to your face as there are no straps.
Not all the clones are FREE of course. Sometimes there are offers such as the recent offer from Conan O'Brien. Others typically cost around $15-30 such as the Goggletech Go4D C1-Glass I reviewed last month. The smartphone manufacturer OnePlus is giving away a ton of Cardboard clones for free - you just pay the shipping. The shipping fee comes in around $5.
The OnePlus Google Cardboard close is based on the latest version of Cardboard (v2.0, which just debuted at Google I/O last month), but they’ve made a few tweaks:
- The cardboard is thicker, for the sake of durability
- The folded project ends up around 20% smaller, while — be it an iPhone, a OnePlus One, or any other Android phone you might have sitting in your pocket.
- They’ve coated the exterior bits with a dirt/oil resistant film. As anyone who has used an original Cardboard unit before the "grease" from peoples faces gets on there pretty fast making it frankly pretty gross.
For OnePlus of course it is a marketing promotion as it gets their name out there (this article for example)
“This is not a product; it’s an initiative. We aren’t making any money by offering OnePlus Cardboard. In fact, we are losing money with each one.”
With this promotion offer, they’re making new fans and getting their branding out there for the cost of a sheet of cardboard and some plastic lenses.
Get your FREE OnePlus Cardboard here
NOTE If you get a “Sold out” message, try again later. They appear to be releasing these in waves.
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