Google loads up virtual reality toolbox for developers

The company is offering updated SDKs and has translated the Cardboard app into multiple languages

Google loads up virtual reality toolbox for developers

Google is trying to entice developers to take a look at its virtual reality platform, Google Cardboard, by offering updated SDKs and documentation and making the Cardboard app available in 39 languages.

The Google Developers Blog today revealed the availability of the app in dozens of languages and more than 100 countries for both Google's Android and Apple's iOS mobile platforms. Google Unity 3D apps can be adapted for virtual reality as well.

Thus far, there have been more than 15 million installs of Cardboard apps from Google Play, said software engineer Brandon Wuest in the blog. Cardboard works with a Cardboard-based viewer, supporting phones with screens as large as six inches. Google offers designs for download, and third parties like Mattel are offering their own viewers.

"The Cardboard SDKs for Android and Unity have been updated to address your top two requests: drift correction and Unity performance," Wuest said. "This update includes a major overhaul of the sensor fusion algorithms that integrate the signals from the gyroscope and accelerometer. These improvements substantially decrease drift, especially on phones with lower-quality sensors." Google also is enabling access to the Google Street View application in Cardboard. The Cardboard SDK for Unity now improves performance by supporting a Unity-native distortion pass and avoiding plug-in overhead, said Wuest.

While virtual reality has been perceived as more of a game- or entertainment-related technology over the years, it is expected to begin making an impact in enterprise businesses. Besides Google, companies like HTC and Samsung are offering VR viewers. Business applications include VR tours of real estate or cars as well as simulations.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform