Google reveals Cardboard, the company's inexpensive take on VR

That's thinking outside the box.

Move over Morpheus. On your bike Oculus Rift. Google has revealed a cheap but functioning VR alternative which requires little more than a cardboard box and an Android phone.

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Google Cardboard is the company's slightly tongue-in-cheek attempt at bringing VR to a wider audience - those who don't want to buy expensive hardware or wait around for the price of such devices to become cheaper.

The device itself can be made out of any sturdy cardboard, with Velcro straps and an elastic band needed for keeping your phone safe. You'll also need a small magnet and a pair of 40mm lenses - components which Google says you can pick up for about 20 via Amazon.

Google has a full list of instructions, along with a printable PDF guide.

Then there's the software - a Cardboard app from Google Play for users to download and try, plus an SDK for developers to begin creating other experiences.

Right now, the Cardboard app will let you watch YouTube, explore Google Earth, interact with 3D objects and watch 3D and 360-degree videos.

The software uses your phone's gyroscopes to match head movements to actions within the app, while the magnet component is used as a button - as you move it, your phone's magnetometer detects changes in the magnetic field.

Currently compatible handsets include the Google Nexus 4 and 5, Motorola Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The HTC One, Motorola Moto G and Samsung Galaxy S3 are partially compatible, meanwhile.

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