Google Cardboard VR Kit for under $15

Google Cardboard VR

Craving some virtual reality goodness? Unsure of Oculus after Facebook purchased them? Well — why not make your own then!

At last weeks Google I/O conference, those lucky enough to attend received the Google Cardboard VR kit. It’s basically just a piece of cardboard, two lenses, a few magnets, an NFC tag and some velcro — but when you slide your phone into it and download the Cardboard app — you have virtual reality, on your phone.

This inspired [Wolfgang] to make his own variation of this, except instead of a phone, it fits a tablet much nicer. It really is just a cardboard box with the lenses glued in place — but it works! Of course you could 3D print a nice housing — but if you’re super excited to try out some VR apps — cardboard will do the trick as well!

Besides the Cardboard app there’s a few more Android VR applications worth a look — Tuscany Dive (explore Tuscany from the comfort of your chair), ViewR (a voice controlled experience), and Dive Volcano VR Demo (explore a volcano!).

Only trick is finding those pesky lenses…


  1. Brian says:

    I hope I’m not the only one that instantly thought of Minecraft…

  2. Tom says:

    I tried to install Google cardboard on my Nexus 7 tablet and it told me it wasn’t compatible :-(

  3. Cole says:

    I ordered lenses here

    I also got some from Thor labs for much more and that don’t seem to have the right focal distance, they are listed as 40mm, but they seemed to be 32-35 so I had to move the phone closer and lose fov

    Hoping for the best, they come Monday, supposedly from AI Optics.

  4. LK says:

    How good / bad is the lag?

    • Etienne says:

      On my Galaxy S4 mini the lag is actually pretty small so that moving your head around greatly participates to the immersive feeling, in complement to the stereo. Very impressive.
      The only feature I miss is the selection of the inter-pupil distance, otherwise your smartphone screen will dictate it.

  5. RoboMonkey says:

    I bought my son Hasbro My3D for his iPod touch. They were on sale at WalMart for $4. He doesn’t use it, but I did experiment with my Samsung S3 and the unit and saw potential. I have yet to do anything with that potential (time, is never on my side). But thanks to your pointing out Cardboard, I’ll get some use out of it yet. Danke.

  6. We got Google Cardboard kits in color now!

  7. ConstableChatsworth says:

    Its just like the 3d ‘glasses’ that came with Metal Gear Acid

  8. robi says:
  9. ATXinventor says:

    Anyone knows what kind of lenses these are, precisely? I have zillions of stereo images waiting for the lenses and a suitable app

  10. Lasse says:

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