Google vs oculus for Virtual Reality

Oculus vs Cardboard: The Battle For VR

Google vs oculus for Virtual Reality

The future of technology is a battleground and in the fight for Virtual Reality supremacy there are two commercial leaders and both these leaders are fighting hard.  Over the past few days both Google/Cardboard and Facebook/Oculus and pushed out major initiatives to win the hearts and minds of consumers.  Let’s look at what they did.  We’ll start with the recent Oculus announcement:

The Oculus Rift

For our regular readers you’ll know that I got pretty excited when the Oculus was in it’s earliest days and having tried it a few times, I’ve always been impressed.  Today they announced a $99 version of the device which is available for pre-order from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and Samsung.com and will ship on November 20th.  The device isn’t a stand-alone and requires a Samsung Galaxy phone to function (good gig for Samsung to be sure).  Perhaps more interesting is one of the peripherals.  It comes with:

Oculus Headset

The headset.  The Oculus Rift requires one of the compatible Samsung phones to act as the display.  It includes headphones and easily adjusted to the users head.

 

Oculus ControllersTwo tracked controllers.  To aid in your navigation of the world at large the Oculus includes two wireless controllers.  From their design they appear to operate in three dimensions meaning you could virtually turn a door knob and other (probably cooler) tasks.

 

xBox One ControllerAn xBox One controller.  This one surprised me a bit.  It appears Microsoft’s investment in a 1.6% stake in Facebook is paying off.  the addition of a standard controller is an excellent idea allowing developers to work on more traditional games while adding a more immersive element.

 

 

I’ll admit it … I want one and if you do too you can pre-order one off the Amazon.com website.

Of course you might be asking … it’s there a cheaper options?  Which brings us to …

Google Cardboard

It’s as if Google just knew that Oculus would be making this announcement today as just a few days ago, in partnership with the New York Times, they shipped a free version of their own Virtual Reality device “Cardboard” to all NYT subscribers.  The New York times has launched their own virtual reality app just a couple days prior in prep for it.

Cardboard also works with Samsung devices but it doesn’t come with all the fancy add-ons.  You won’t find xBox controllers or really, any controllers at all included with Cardboard.  In fact, you have to assemble it yourself as it comes looking like:

Google Cardboard v2

A big step forward from v1 which Beanstalk’s President Mary Davies got to try out at Siggraph.

The device comes in a variety of different colors (or you can color it yourself I suppose) and they have added a few different designs into the mix.  One thing Google is going differently here than usual is sharing their high-end technology with the world and providing instruction on how to build one yourself.

WARNING: It might take a trip to your garage as it requires the following parts:

Make Google Cardboard

This comes just days after Google’s announcement of YouTube 360.  360 is a channel dedicated to 360 degree videos that work with Google Cardboard and other similar devices.

If you’re not handy you can buy one for about $25.  And today they’re even offering a discounted one for a whopping $17.50.  It’s like they want to thumb their nose at Oculus.  But that couldn’t be it right?

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