Virtually test drive a Volvo using Google Cardboard
Google Cardboard was announced as a bit of a sideshow at Google I/O earlier this year and was promptly brushed off as a gimmick, but it turns out that the DIY virtual reality headset has some interesting potential. It essentially turns your Android-powered smartphone into a cheap virtual reality headset using a few bucks worth of materials.
Now it looks like Volvo is going to become the first company to turn Cardboard into a serious marketing tool. The Swedish automaker is sending out Volvo-branded Cardboards in order to build up hype for the upcoming launch of its redesigned XC90 SUV. The headset comes paired with an Android app that puts you in the seat of an XC90, according to Mashable.
“After downloading the Volvo Reality app and inserting their phone in the Google Cardboard, viewers will be transported into an XC90 where they can explore and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the car on the open road,” the automaker said, as quoted by Edmunds, adding that an iOS version will be coming in the near future.
Both the app and the headset are free so long as you have a smartphone. You’ll be able to request a Volvo Cardboard starting next week, although the automaker notes that supplies are limited. Once you have it, you’ll be able to use any Cardboard-compatible app, not just the Volvo Reality app, although you’ll be stuck with the Volvo branding.