A few weeks ago I went to the Engadget Expand expo at the Javits Center and bought a DodoCase virtual reality headset from one of the stands. For $20 I couldn’t help myself, as I assembled the small curved lenses and cardboard cutouts into a pretty useful tool for getting new uses out of my smartphone. Virtual Reality headsets allow you to use special apps available on Google Play (and a few demos on iOS) to split-screen your phone and view a three-dimensional environment through specially curved glass lenses. Google came out with an amazing concept called Google Cardboard, which is basically a blueprint for the cutout design that the makers of the DodoCase used for their production model.
Other companies came out with their own renditions of Google Cardboard such as the NEJE ZB01 and Valencia Quality VR Viewers. Volvo, the car manufacturer, is taking it one step further and is using the platform to demo it’s new XC90 SUV. What’s more, the car maker developed it’s own version of Google Cardboard and is providing the viewer for FREE on it’s website! (You read that right, free!) All you have to do is enter your address and click the submit button, and the website automatically tells you if you won your chance at getting the headset. Chances are very high, with three of my friends winning their first time and me on my second try. The headset is exactly the same as the DodoCase VR headset I bought at the Engadget Expand convention, save for the black paint and Volvo Logo used on the cardboard. It even includes the same magnetic button as all Google Cardboard headsets which you use for simple navigation. Now that you can get one for free, are viewer manufacturers going to lower their prices? Now I regret paying $20 for a virtual reality headset. Who knew the day I could say that would come so soon?