Virtual reality is making a comeback. Forget the atrocious examples we endured in the 90s, now we have the likes of Oculus Rift (opens in new tab) to delight our senses, and Microsoft is tempting us with HoloLens (opens in new tab). Neither of these are particularly cheap, but Google came up with a cheap alternative in the form of Cardboard (opens in new tab).
As the name suggests, this is a foldable cardboard unit which can be used to transform a variety of smartphones into a fully-fledged VR headset. While much cheaper than the likes of Oculus Rift and HoloLens, Cardboard is not free... or at least, it wasn't. Ahead of the launch of OnePlus 2 (opens in new tab), OnePlus is offering its own OnePlus CardBoard for free.
Take a browse through the various Cardboard offerings (opens in new tab) that are available through Google and you'll find that prices vary wildly. Head over to the OnePlus website, however, and you can grab a headset for nothing more than the cost of shipping - the headset itself is completely free.
This is OnePlus' own take on Cardboard. The company says: "We applaud Google Cardboard for advancing the dream of bringing VR to homes around the world, but we believe it could be even better. Even more accessible. In typical OnePlus fashion, we didn’t just sit around and talk about how it could be better; we made our own. In addition to the Cardboard 2.0 features, we’ve made a few more improvements."
Despite coming from OnePlus, you are not restricted to using it with just OnePlus handset - in fact you should be able to use just about any smartphone up to 6 inches in size. The free unit is not just made of run-of-the-mill cardboard, it is specially coated to make it more durable.
Order your free Cardboard from OnePlus (opens in new tab) and you'll receive it some time after 10 July when shipping starts. If you're in the US head here (opens in new tab), while UK resident can place their order here (opens in new tab).