An AR Cardboard allows you to place images about reality in a more convincing way than is possible with a standard screen.

The AR Cardboard is an Augmented Reality version of the VR Cardboard as Google released in 2014.

Although in theory you can also use the VR Cardboard for AR Apps, this will always be displayed via a flat screen. With an AR Cardboard you can observe depth and view a kind of holographic projection.

What do you need?

To view Augmented Reality content on an AR Cardboard, you obviously need an AR Cardboard holder.

That is a smartphone holder of cardboard with a special mirror and lens through which the display on the screen is projected through reflection in front of your eyes. These images seem to be part of the world around you.

You can also use an AR tracking marker, an image that you can put down so that the software has a reference point. If the application has support for ARKit (Apple iOS) or ARCore (Google Android), a tracker is no longer necessary.

However, this can be useful in situations where the software can not apply enough image recognition, or if you want to use the tracker as a promotional tool. Of course you also need a smartphone, both iOS and Android are supported. The offer may differ per system.

Why is AR Cardboard different from VR Cardboard?

With a VR Cardboard you look directly at the screen of the smartphone, by splitting the screen into two parts the image appears to be 3D.

A similar design does not work for AR glasses because most smartphone cameras can not register a depth. You can not place the Augmented Reality images in the environment.

Augmented reality is…

Depth, mirrors and AR holograms…?

An AR Cardboard works with a mirror that is placed at an angle, the image of the smartphone is mirrored on this surface and displayed through a glass window in front of your eyes.

With that you see a kind of hologram. By this method you will never be able to see deep black, this also applies to luxury AR glasses like the HoloLens from Microsoft.

What can you do with an AR Cardboard?

There are many possibilities with an AR Cardboard, which does not mean that all possibilities are already being used. Virtual Reality has a head start on Augmented Reality in terms of applications and apps. With the new generation of smartphones this is changing, yet most AR Apps are still made for a flat screen.

The range of apps for AR Cardboards is currently limited, but as with the VR Cardboard, it will only be a matter of time before more applications come. Here are some possibilities:

View 3D Objects

This is an option that already exists in the Aryzon App, you can load 3D objects that you can then display as a kind of hologram at any desired location. This is ideal for trade fairs and events, to introduce the public to new products.

This is also a way of showing stakeholders visually in a visual way, making the message clearer than was previously possible with sketches on a screen or on paper.

Play AR Games

There are more and more AR games, the offer for the AR Cardboard is not yet at the level of the smartphone Apps, but that is going to change. The statement “you see them flying” can be taken quite literally when you have to shoot or catch floating objects around you.

Lenovo has developed a luxury AR Cardboard with three Star Wars AR games, a tracking module and a lightsaber with which you can become a real “Jedi Knight”.

Use special AR filters

You can already put all sorts of crazy faces and masks on the Selfie camera with Apps like Snapchat and Facebook. This will also be possible with the AR Cardboard, so you get a completely different view of the world around you.

An advantage of “wearables” is the hands-free working, in addition, a Cardboard holder can also display 3D objects which is not possible with a smartphone and normal screen.

Develop Augmented Reality Apps

You can of course also get started with the development of AR Apps, or you can call in a professional software developer.

At present, most AR Cardboards are used for this, such as promotional applications for companies or educational AR Apps for education and research institutions.

The AR Cardboard holders are relatively inexpensive and can be easily distributed, even with a print of the organization.

With the luxury AR headsets, in addition to software development, you also have to invest directly in expensive hardware.

What can you do with an AR Cardboard? Already a lot now, and much more in the future. When you get started with AR App development, you can create unique Augmented Reality experiences for commercial use, for business or for educational purposes.

Read here more about developing an app.