Google has announced a new Works with Google Cardboard certification program, which is aimed at bringing the virtual reality experience to more people.
Works with Cardboard has been created to bring together the many VR headsets that have popped up in the wake of the Google Cardboard headset and the many VR apps that are now populating the Google Play Store.
“At its core, the program enables any Cardboard viewer to work well with any Cardboard app,” reads a recent Google blog post. “And the result is more awesome VR for all of us.”
The challenge here is a familiar one for the Android ecosystem. There are lots of Cardboard viewers out there, all with slightly different optics and dimensions.
Those aforementioned VR apps need this specific information to calibrate the experience properly. To this end, Google has launched a new tool that automatically configures any viewer for every Cardboard app.
Cardboard viewer manufacturers need only define their product’s key parameters, like focal length, input type, and inter-lens distance, and they’ll receive a QR code to put on their product.
The user then scans this code in using the Google Cardboard app, and all Cardboard apps from that point will be optimised for the headset.
As mentioned, Works with Google Cardboard is a certification program, and developers can no apply for a certification badge that lets buyers know the viewer works well with Cardboard apps.
This sits alongside an improved SDK and design guidelines that should improve the Cardboard apps themselves.
Read More: Best Google Cardboard apps 2015
Finally, Google announced that it had acquired two new companies to improve the VR experience.
Thrive Audio, from the School of Engineering in Trinity College Dublin, brings its ambisonic surround sound technology to Cardboard. Meanwhile Tilt Brush brings its VR painting skills to the project.