Google's affordable VR alternative, Cardboard, is already a hit and other companies are making the simple task even simpler by selling the pre-cut cardboard VR viewer for as low as $20.
Google, the world's largest internet search company, recently offered its consumers the virtual reality experience with Cardboard. The web giant distributed samples of its VR viewer made out of cardboard that can turn a smartphone into a VR headset. The cheaper alternative to Oculus Rift has quickly become a success story and third party companies are already tapping into make money out of it.
Google said the VR viewer can be made with everyday items like cardboard, lenses, magnets, Velcro, rubber band and an optional NFC tag. But it requires some work on the people's end to get the cuts and folds. If that seems like a tough job, pre-cut cardboard clones have already started appearing online, TechCrunch reports.
Dodocase, maker of phone and tablet covers, first listed the Cardboard clone on its website for just $19.95. The retailer claims the suggested cost of the Google's cardboard VR goggle is more than two times cheaper than having the items purchased from any hardware store.
"We did the math and it costs over $45 to order all those bits and pieces Google suggested, and that doesn't even include shipping from 4 different vendors," the product description page reads. "Well lucky for you we are nerds who know a thing or two about making stuff and we want to help get VR goggles in your hands!"
Dodocase isn't the only retailer to come up with this smart idea of cloning Google's cardboard VR. Knox Labs is also selling the cardboard clone for $1 cheaper than Dodocase's MSRP. At $18.95, Knox Labs is shipping the unofficial Cardboard VR kit without NFC. Both retailers are offering the optional NFC tag for additional $5. The listed prices exclude shipping and taxes that will be added during the checkout.
If the cardboard feels cheap for a VR headset, Knox Labs is working on an aluminum version that will cost $65.95 or $68.95 with NFC.
The cardboard clones are expected to be ready in 4 to 6 weeks.