As a followup to its Cardboard headset and Cardboard app, Google has launched a new VR content creation tool for Android called Cardboard Camera. With Cardboard Camera, users are able to record 360-degree panoramas for viewing with Cardboard VR headsets.
The app is free and available for smartphones running Android 4.4 or higher, and works by recording footage while the user slowly turns the camera in a 360-degree circle. After the recording process is finished, the footage is stitched together; though it isn’t truly 3D, it is post-processed in such a way that scenes appear to have depth when viewed with Cardboard.
Resulting panoramas appear to be 3D due to a post-processing trick in which each eye is shown slightly different viewing angles of the same image to simulate a stereogram. Google includes the option to record Cardboard panoramas with audio from the surrounding environment.
The Cardboard Camera app, which can be downloaded from Google Play, includes publicly available panoramas created by others. Google offers instructions on how to make a Cardboard headset at home via its website, but ready-to-use units can also be purchased from various vendors.