Google is partnering with the New York Times again to distribute ‘Google Cardboard’ to it’s digital subscribers next month.
For those of you who don’t know, Google Cardboard was part of a 20 percent project. Which is a company policy that allows employees to work on side projects in addition to their everyday duties. The project basically (I know a lot more work went into it) took some cardboard and added a pair of 40mm focal distance lenses to turn your phone into a virtual reality headset; and some velcro and a rubber band to hold it all together - genius!
While using a compatible app (nytvr), the user places their smartphone into Google Cardboard, and looks through the lenses, voila, it turns your handset's screen into a seemingly real-world experience.
Last November the Times delivered one million of these units to its home delivery subscribers - which was quite the feat when you think about it. However, this time only 300,000 digital subscribers will have the opportunity to view the upcoming publication “Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart,” a stereoscopic virtual reality experience that brings viewers to Pluto.
Working with the Lunar and Planetary Institute, as well as the Universities Space Research Association, they were able to build an accurate three-dimensional virtual world from the data collected by Nasa’s New Horizon spacecraft.
If you're a digital subscriber to the New York Times, then keep your fingers crossed, because the distribution of Cardboard will be based on the duration of your subscription; in other words, if you sign up right now, your probably out of luck.
Sure, it’s a promotional tool, but kudos to the New York Times for keeping things interesting.