How to set up your new mobile VR viewer

All my Cardboard headsets

Did you just get a Cardboard-compatible virtual reality headset?

You can tell if you have a mobile headset┬áby the fact that it weighs very little, costs very little, and does not plug in to your computer. Instead, it has a place where you put in your smartphone. Then, if the package does not say “Gear VR” on it, you have a Cardboard-compatible viewer.

Before you do anything else, download the Google Cardboard app from the Google Play store for Android or from the iTunes store for the iPhone.

Configuring your viewer

Now you have to tell your phone what kind of headset you have. This is important, because different lenses distort the picture differently, and the phone has to know the curvature of the lenses, and how far they are from the phone, and so on. To do this, you need a Google Cardboard QR Code.

It looks like a regular QR Code, except that there’s a Cardboard outline in the middle. For example, here’s the Google Cardboard QR Code for the Mattel View-Master:

QR-code-ViewMasterVR-150x150

You might find one printed on the headset itself, in its instructions, or on the box it came in. If you can’t find it, check to see if it’s on our QR Codes page. Keep in mind that some headsets are sold under multiple brand names, so make sure that the picture matches your particular headset. If you still can’t find your QR Code — there are hundreds of manufacturers and I don’t have the codes for all of them — then I recommend that, first, you contact the seller and complain. Then, email me and ask for help, at [email protected]. You can also try the QR Codes for other sets until you find one that is close enough, or create your own — it only takes a few minutes.

Okay, you now have a Google Cardboard QR Code.

Now open the Google Cardboard app and click on the three dots in the top right corner of the screen.

Cardboard - Switch Viewers 1 -- with arrow

That brings up the settings menu.

Cardboard - Switch Viewers 2 -- with arrow

Click on the first option, “Switch viewer.”

Cardboard - Switch Viewers 3 -- with arrow

This activates your phone’s camera. Point the camera at a picture of your QR Code. If you use our QR Code page, click on the QR Code first to open up the image, so that it’s the only QR Code on your computer screen.

Cardboard - Switch Viewers 4

You should then get a confirmation message.

Where to get VR apps

You can run any of the apps that are recommended in the Google Cardboard app.

There is also a list of VR apps that Google recommends on its featured Cardboard Apps page.

WeArVR screen 2

There is also a large catalog of VR apps for both Android and iPhone, as well as other VR platform, at WeArVR.com. They also have ratings and lists of recommended apps in various categories.

Finally, you can search for the keyword “VR” on either app store.

The most popular app for Cardboard users is YouTube. Here is how to watch YouTube videos in VR.

 

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maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Steve Luigi

    When using a VR headset with Google cardboard, you need to set up the cardboard program by looking at certian images in the program, and then clicking the magnet which comes with a Google cardboard viewer. Many headsets I have looked at, and one that I bought a ‘Levin’, don’t have a magnet. What should you do in this case?

    • To set up the headset, download the Google Cardboard app from the app store, click on the settings menu (three dots at the top right) and select your viewer.

      Then pull up the viewer’s QR code on the screen.

      The Levin looks a lot like a rebranded VR Kix, so this QR Code should work:

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3105843ae870f3e3130d61eeab67242fbad568bdfd2d4765532da40fd5adcb34.png

      My full list of QR Codes is here: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/faq/vr-headset-qr-codes/

      You do all this BEFORE you put the headset on. So you don’t need any magnets or buttons for this step.

      Now that you have your headset set up, you can pull up YouTube and watch any video in VR by starting the video, clicking on the little cardboard icon to switch to side-by-side VR view, then place the phone inside the headset. Then just take the phone out when you’re done, or you want to switch videos. (I know, there’s no VR interface yet — it’s coming!)

      If you want to play other apps, some will have a look-to-activate interface. You get a little dot or cross-hairs and you move your head until you line it up with a sign or a lever or a door or whatever and then stare at the same spot until it triggers the interaction (starts the game, opens the door, etc…) Most museum and virtual tour apps, for example, are look-to-activate.

      Finally, if you’re playing an interactive game that requires a button, and if you have an Android phone, get a Bluetooth controller. Here is the one I have:

      http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2016/02/review-of-ipega-nice-android-vr-controller/

      I haven’t found any controllers yet that work with the iPhone.

      The other thing you can do is either buy a headset with a button (there are several) or an open-sided headset: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/?s=open-sided

      I plan to do a story on all the headsets with buttons soon, but the main ones are the Mattel View-Master, all the Cardboard V2 headsets, Dscvr, Powis, BoboVR Z4 (though the button sometimes has issues — they’re working on fixing it).

  • Steve Luigi

    Thank you for your help

  • Huda Yaqub

    hi i need someone to help me to find a project for image processing