The Google Glass Project may be over but Google still has the Cardboard program. A couple of days ago we mentioned that Google is finally getting serious with virtual reality during the I/O 2015 and here it is. Google is bringing the Cardboard into classrooms by introducing the new Google Expeditions pack. It’s a special kit for teachers and educators that contains everything they need to bring their class on a field trip—at least in virtual reality. This brings virtual reality experience to the students and teachers who don’t have the means to go on a real field trip in a far away place.
Google Cardboard is an affordable VR viewer. Unlike the Samsung Gear VR which needs a Galaxy Note 4 or a Galaxy S6/S6 edge, the Cardboard can accommodate any regular smartphone. It turns into a 3D eyewear that students can use to visit places like the Palace of Versailles without leaving their classrooms. High-profile providers will be providing exclusive content and experience with the Expeditions program.
With Expeditions, students will each have a Cardboard and smartphone delivered by Google. There’s also a tablet that the teacher will use to control the virtual reality trip. Every smartphone is synced with the teacher’s tablet so they can all “travel” at the same time. Teacher can start or pause the trip simultaneously.
This Google Expeditions project has potential to be widely used in schools and universities especially in developing countries where schools have limited resources. With Expeditions and Cardboards, anyone can travel to places they want to go. One important partner of Google is the American Museum of Natural History. Students can now visit the pyramids of Egypt or go down to the bottom of the ocean with their Cardboards.
At the I/O 2015 conference, Google also introduced a new Cardboard version that can accommodate larger smartphones with screens up to six inches that have redesigned controls. No information on pricing and availability but we’re expecting the company will make related announcements soon.