Cardboard Camera

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Cardboard Camera
Information
Developer Google
Platform Google Cardboard
Device Google Cardboard
Operating System Android
Type Photo
Genre Photo, VR Photo
Price Free
Website Google Cardboard
Infobox Updated 3/2/2016
Information icon1.png This page is a stub, please expand it if you have more information.
Cardboard Camera is a photo-taking app for Android smartphones developed by Google. The app enables the users to take Virtual Reality photos, stereoscopic 3D and 360 degrees, on their smartphones by transforming the phone into a VR camera. Users can use the Google Cardboard HMD to view the VR photos.

Introduction

The Google Cardboard Camera app enables the users to capture VR photos that can be viewed using the Google Cardboard. Similar to taking a panoramic photo, the user needs to launch the camera, start shooting and then move in a circle. Unlike regular panoramic photos, the user needs to make a 360 degree turn. A small portion of sound is also captured along with the photo. The resulting image is a 3D panoramic photo, which the user can look in the front or in the sides to see the entire captured photograph [1] [2].

Features

The pictures in Virtual Reality offer slightly different views for each of the user’s eye that simulate the effect that near things appear to be near and far things appear to be far in the picture. The algorithm in the software tricks the user’s mind and eyes to simulate depth within the photos. The post-processing of the image from the app shows each eye of the user slightly different viewing angles of the image thus simulating a stereogram. The app also allows some sound recording which gives a great overall VR experience when the captured image is viewed through the Google Cardboard [2]. Unlike a VR video, the elements in the captured VR photo are stationary while the embedded sound makes the image quite realistic.

The Cardboard Camera app is available to download for free from the Google Play store. It does not require a sign-up or separate account for use. Cardboard Camera is a user-friendly and easy to use app. The users can just download, install and launch it to capture VR moments [3]. To capture photos, user just pick a spot and hold out his/her phone in portrait mode after launching the app. All he/she has to do afterwards is to press the record button and spin in a circle. If the user is moving or spinning too quickly, the app directs him/her to slow down. The user also has the option whether or not to embed sound in the captured photograph. After the capture, it takes few seconds for processing and the status can be seen in a progress bar [4].

System Requirements

The Cardboard Camera app requires a smartphone with a camera running an Android Operating System (OS). The version of the OS required is Android 4.4 – KitKat and above [3]. In order to view the captured 3D image in VR, an accessory, Google Cardboard is required. Google has even shared instructions on how to make a Cardboard headset at home via its website but it is also available to be purchased from different vendors.

References

  1. https://googleblog.blogspot.fr/2015/12/step-inside-your-photos-with-cardboard.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.wired.com/2015/12/google-cardboard-camera-app/
  3. 3.0 3.1 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.vr.cyclops&hl=en
  4. http://gizmodo.com/googles-new-cardboard-camera-app-takes-vr-ready-360-pho-1746003226

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