UPDATED 00:11 EDT / APRIL 15 2015

Roundme brings virtual reality to iPhone on Google Cardboard

Roundmegoogle cardboard, a free iOS app that takes users on virtual tours of real-world places through a series of connected 360-degree panoramic photos, now supports virtual reality on the Google Cardboard VR headset.

Google Cardboard is a stripped down “VR headset” made from cardboard – as the name suggests. Once folded together the headset holds a smartphone. The Google Cardboard VR headset is available for purchase as a kit from a number of online suppliers for as little as $20, or you can build your own using instructions supplied by Google (PDF download) itself.

Google Cardboard is not as sophisticated as VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift or HTC and Valve’s Vive, but is cheap and readily available. Although basic, it has amplified developers’ interest in VR for the masses and more and more have started adding VR support in their apps.

For a virtual reality experience, iPhone users can access a selection of available Spaces, a series of panoramic photos connected via Portals, in the app. Available Spaces from Roundme include a tour of a medieval castle in Cesis, Latvia, the Apollo 1 site in Brevard County, FL., exploring a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and many more.

Users can also create and upload their own Spaces and share them with others. Panoramas can be shot with either an iPhone and uploaded directly or using high-end camera gear and uploaded via PC.

Although limited in numbers, Roundme is not the only iOS app that offers support for Google Cardboard. Here are three other iOS apps with Cardboard support worth taking a look at:

  • Dive City Rollercoaster: as the name suggests, this is a virtual reality roller coaster ride right on your iPhone.
  • 3DTube: for $1.99, this app helps you find and view 3D videos on YouTube.
  • The Height: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to climb and traverse futuristic scaffolding and collects as many items as possible.

With the augmented and virtual reality market predicted to hit $150 million by 2020, companies like Facebook, Samsung, Microsoft and Google are all investing heavily in VR technologies. Even Hollywood is getting in the game to bring us virtual reality movies.

Roundme is available as a free download on iTunes.

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