Virtual Reality became a mainstream entertainment and educational tool since early 2017. With the advent of Oculus, the technology took a giant leap in the last four years. When Facebook brought Oculus, Google did not want to be left behind. Because they knew VR will become a multibillion-dollar industry within a few years.
So they started pushing out Google Cardboard, a low-cost VR headset. But even before this, Google enabled their massive Android platform to handle virtual reality videos and games.
Since the advent of the smartphone, their processing power and storage capacity has been on the rise. Google’s Android is the world’s most popular OS and the search giant wanted to use the platform to usher in a new generation of advertising. VR ads are extremely powerful and have a greater customer retention rate than any of the current ad models.
But no one would buy a phone to watch VR ads. So Google started to create an ecosystem within their current platform to cater to VR content. YouTube became the popular place to host the 360-degree videos. Meanwhile, the search giant also enabled Google photos to display the stored pictures and videos in an immersive format via their cardboard app.
Now any Android smartphone with Gyroscope, Accelerometer and magnetic compass sensor can easily play VR videos and use VR apps. All you need is a VR enable headset. VR headsets range from $20 to $200. And there are many headsets that just need your smartphone as the source of images. Almost all mid-range to flagship range phones running on Android are capable of VR. To check your phone, download the Google cardboard app and open it. If you can see two slightly blurred images, it means your phone is capable of displaying VR videos and playing VR games.
Most of the phones from Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, HTC and Huawei are VR capable.