SINGAPORE - Virtual reality (VR) may sound like a sci-fi project for geeks and gaming enthusiasts, but Google intends to revolutionise the way we see it (pun intended).
If you know Google, you will know that nothing is too loony for them, and the Google Cardboard is another evidence of that.
The Google Cardboard facilitates the VR experience by transforming an Android phone screen into an immersive adventure through a pair of lenses.
As I assembled the perforations on the pre-fabricated Cardboard at Google Singapore headquarters, a mental skirmish was forming in my mind.
It felt too rudimentary to be true.
Then again, this is Google - the crazy company behind Project Loon - a herculean aim of providing internet access to rural and remote areas using high-altitude balloons (say what).
Never say never. With Justin Bieber's famous words etched in my mind, I donned the Googe Cardboard, and my worldview changed. I became a Cardboard belieber.
Jokes aside, the Cardboard was indeed impressive, and I was thoroughly fascinated by my first VR experience.
After assembling the hardware (instructions below), there are two ways to begin the VR experience.
There are seven activities that you can choose from in the Google Cardboard app, such as watching videos on YouTube, explore Paris in Street Vue, and view panoramic photos on Photo Sphere.
The Google Chrome browser had more to offer with its eight activities, such as a virtual helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef, a roller coaster ride and a coin collection game.
Back at the office, my colleagues had their fair share of fun immersing themselves in this new experience.
For one of my colleagues who swears by Apple products, the iPhone 6 suddenly didn't look very appealing. All it took was a cardboard to waver her faith. Oh my.
The Google Cardboard is what it says to be: virtual reality in a simple, fun, and inexpensive way.
Do not expect a flawless experience from a product that is made from cardboard. There were times when I had my frustrations with the selection button on the Cardboard, which is actually a magnet.
According to Google, the phone's magnetometer detects changes in the magnetic field when you pull and release the magnet, but it does not work for many phones.
The gyroscope at times also felt like it was not properly calibrated, resulting in a discrepancy between my VR view and my real-world movements.
While the experience was a novelty, it started to wear off not long after.
Samsung recently released the Samsung Gear VR, which is powered by VR company Oculus. While Samsung has not revealed the price of the Gear VR, it will certainly burn a hole in your pocket.
Google promises that the Cardboard is a "no-frills enclosure that transforms a phone into a basic VR headset", and it lives up to the promise.
The Cardboard is perfect for an introduction into the world of VR, and I will highly recommend it for everyone.
The Cardboard triggered my thoughts about potential VR applications, which can certainly be more than a revolutionary gaming experience.
A battlefield scenario. A ship simulator. A surgical theatre. The applications are limitless. It is the Matrix.
Coming to a cardboard screen near you: An easy and cheap concept to experience virtual reality.
Now, the red pill or blue pill?
Next: How to build your own Cardboard