In May, Google revealed the second version of its entry-level Cardboard VR viewer. At Google I/O, the company handed out pre-built kits that required only an Android or iOS device. However, its easy setup of lenses, velcro, and (obviously) cardboard makes it an easy build for anyone with the right tools. Now, just like the original Cardboard, Google finally released the Cardboard 2 Manufacturer Kit for free.
As expected, the downloadable package includes everything from technical specs, diagrams for the lenses and details on the conductive strips. This is more of just a guideline for the overall build, as manufacturers may want to improve or add to the existing design of cardboard.
Even with the simplicity of the design, the company did make a few changes to Cardboard 2. The base model now requires only three steps to set up with your smartphone instead of seven. The viewports are smaller and circular, indicating that there's more cardboard used to hold the phone in place. Even with the increase of material used throughout the viewer, it's able to hold large phones such as the iPhone 6 Plus and the Nexus 6.
The first Cardboard was thought to be an experiment from Google, testing to see if many users would be willing to try some sort of VR through their smartphone. Instead, continued support for Cardboard, as well as the release of Cardboard 2, show that the company is serious for a low-cost approach to virtual reality.