Google Lets You Capture VR Photos With Cardboard Camera App

AH Google IO 2014 Cardboard 3 of 4

Google Cardboard is a very interesting take on the virtual reality platform, the device itself doesn’t involve any complex components like some other VR headsets, in fact, it doesn’t have any circuitry, but along with the software it’s meant to make virtual reality more accessible so more content is created. VR is likely to become really popular next year as more companies look to release more headsets. This technology allows for a more immersive experience as it works with all the sensors in a smartphone to make us feel as if we were there. There are many apps that support Cardboard, such as Street View and YouTube. Now, there is a dedicated Cardboard Camera app to let you record your memories in this format.

Taking photos with this app is very simple, it works just like panorama mode, just move the phone around you in circle and the software will stitch those pictures together to get a full 360° view. When you use a VR headset, you will be able to view that VR photo by turning your head around. The difference between this and a regular panoramic shot is that there are slightly different views for each eye, so it creates a 3D effect. Plus, the app can even record sounds, so you can remember that exact moment in a more realistic way. The app would work even better if it allowed to capture pictures in more directions, like in Google’s Photo Spheres, but that’s not available right now, so the top and bottom of the VR panoramas will be empty.

It takes about a minute for the app to process images and deliver the finalized VR photo, which will be saved in a jpeg format, and each or these photos will take from 4 MB to 10 MB of space. Sadly, there’s no way to share these photos, but that’s not a major issue right now as not everyone owns a Cardboard viewer. Cardboard Camera can be downloaded right now from the Play Store for any Android device running Android 4.4 or a more recent version. The app weighs 33 MB and there’s no need to register or sign-in into an account to start taking pictures, plus it’s currently available in 17 languages.