VR Experience: Google Cardboard Arctic Journey
The Google Cardboard Arctic Journey for Android was my favorite intro to VR technology. I enjoyed it because it showed how a fun, friendly and well engineered VR environment should behave and how I should feel when I am in a well crafted VR environment.
Google Cardboard Android App
The Google Cardboard Android app provides many demos; the Arctic Journey demo was my favorite. I had to place my Android phone running the Google Cardboard app inside the actual cardboard holder. The navigation provided intuitive clues to help me learn how to navigate and interact with the VR environment.
Arctic Journey is produced by Valve. As a student in the Udacity VR NanoDegree program, this VR Environment was inspiring while learning how to build my own VR Environments.
Comfortable & pleasant VR environment
Each area in the Arctic Experience demo showed intuitive navigation that is unique to the VR environment. Sound was used to draw my attention to turn my head and look at an area I was not looking at. Friendly gestures and natural movement from the environment characters also provided me with cues of what options I had for navigating and interacting.
I did not experience the uncomfortable feeling I did when VR was still very new many years ago. I actually found the VR experience to be very relaxing and pleasant.
The same experience on a laptop or television would not be as pleasant nor engaging. I was able to stand and move around while experiencing the VR environment. My spine and neck (20+ years in the computer desk labor ditches) were also very grateful for the ability to physically stand while being immersed in the VR environment.
Their was an “Easter Egg” experience in the Arctic Journey and I will not share any spoilers about it because it was nice to discover it on my own.
While I knew it was ridiculous, the VR Environment made me want to childishly put my arms up and reach out to touch the characters in the scene. I actually did it and of course I giggled because it was fun.
I had no interest in playing games that interfere with my work schedule, responsibilities and life priorities. I did have time to get away from the spine crushing work desk and explore a pleasant VR environment.
I dare say the activity was good for my health and helping me wind down after a long day of working on a computer screen. The Google Cardboard Arctic Journey Android app was an excellent VR experience for me as a busy tech consultant.
VR Experience Conclusion
Google Cardboard Arctic Adventure provides a friendly, pleasant and affordable introduction to the VR experience. Anyone with an Android phone can get or make the Google Cardboard (actual physical cardboard VR Viewer) and download the free Android app to their phone.
I still visit the Arctic Adventure about once every few weeks to analyze how I can integrate similar tactics into the VR experiences I am learning how to build.
Google Cardboard Android app earned 5 of 5 Stars from MoniGarr.com.