The Oculus Rift is now shipping to customers, and the HTC Vive is set to become available for purchase in stores early this month. Needless to say, the new generation of virtual reality headsets is finally here, and VR enthusiasts across the world can finally jump on the bandwagon and immerse themselves in the various virtual reality environments available to date. However, as close to reality as VR may have become, nothing beats actual reality when it comes down to stimulating our senses. With this in mind, Google now aims to push VR to a whole other level with its April Fools' Cardboard Plastic, designed to be "the world's first actual reality headset".
At the basis of virtual reality stand several key concepts, and in truth, the idea behind VR is to create a synthetic, digital environment in which VR users can be immersed through high fidelity visuals, responsive head tracking, and 3D spatial awareness. In other words, VR technology aims to mimic reality, and because of this, Google has decided to go back to basics and build a brand new virtual reality headset with these particular concepts in mind. According to Google, "virtual reality has brought us to places ranging from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of Mars. But as good as VR is, it's never been quite as real as, well… real life". Needless to say, the company's April Fools' Google Cardboard Plastic is literally a box of see-through plastic shaped much like the actual Google Cardboard headset, sans the lenses. It delivers 4D integrated perspective, 20/20 resolution (depending on eyesight), 360 degrees spatially accurate sound, and "advanced haptics for realistic touch sensations". The headset is waterproof, lightweight, and requires no batteries. Another way of putting it would be that Google Cardboard Plastic looks like something that could come out of an episode of Family Guy.
Funnily enough, Google's pretend landing page for Cardboard Plastic also mentions that the headpiece will be available in six colors, adding that more patterns and accessories will be coming soon. It goes without saying that you shouldn't hold your breath for Google Cardboard Plastic to hit the shelves – not that you would want to – but it sure makes for an amusing April Fools' joke.