Google was one of the first companies to invest in virtual reality, Well, five years ago, Google I launch Cardboard, which is one is a cardboard display that anyone can use to experience virtual reality (VR) on a smartphone. Cardboard was originally introduced being one of the first virtual reality kits.
Now the company has announced that the project is available in open source. for anyone who wants to delve into the subject. According to Google, during the vital moments of the project, more than 15 million units of Cardboard were shipped, worldwide, but over time that number has decreased.
Besides that the SDK is no longer being actively developed, the project is still used in educational and entertainment experiences, Google realized the interest in the project continues, so it was decided to transfer the development into the hands of the community and develop the project together.
The SDK includes libraries to create virtual reality applications for Android and iOS, a rendering system to generate results for viewing on cardboard helmets, and a library to match the helmet frame parameters to the app using a QR code.
The SDK allows you to create applications for virtual reality headsets on the basis of a phone intelligent, forming a stereoscopic image by dividing the screen into two halves, in which an image is formed for the right and left eye separately.
When forming the output, parameters such as the type of lenses involved, the distance from the screen to the lens are taken into account and the distance between the pupils. The SDK includes ready-made features for creating virtual environments, including motion tracking tools, user interface elements, and stereoscopic rendering with support for lens distortion compensation.
The image changes according to the position of the head and the movement of the user, which allows not only to show a static stereo image, for example, watching 3D movies, but also to navigate in a virtual space such as in specialized virtual reality headsets (play 3D games and viewing videos and images in 360 degree mode).
To evaluate the displacement in space, the camera, gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer present in smartphones are used. The project information is likely to be used by other technology professionals.
Google Cardboard is now open source
Interested enthusiasts had the opportunity to develop independently the functionality Cardboard and add support for new settings of mobile devices screen. At the same time, Google intends to continue participating in the overall development and transferring new functionality to the project, such as components to support the Unity game engine.
With open source and access to all the information necessary to create incredible experiences, the community can continue to develop virtual reality applications.
The open source project includes libraries for developers to build your cardboard apps for iOS and Android and render virtual reality experiences on cardboard displays.
It also provides API for head tracking, lens distortion rendering, input handling, and an Android QR code library, so apps can match any cardboard display without relying on the Cardboard app.
An open source model will allow the community to continue to improve Cardboard and expand its capabilities, for example adding support for new screen configurations on smartphones and cardboard displays as they become available. Google will continue to contribute to the project by releasing new features, including a Unity SDK package.
Development within Cardboard sdk requires Android Studio 3.4.1 and Android NDK for development on Google's mobile operating system. For iOS, developers need Xcode 10.3 or higher.
The Google VR SDK for developing virtual reality apps and demo mobile apps for Cardboard are open under the Apache 2.0 license.