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February 9, 2015 | 3 min read

Knit, a creative technology agency specialising in developing brand experiences using emerging technology, has launched “Cardboard Objects” as an extension to the affordable virtual reality (VR) headset, Google Cardboard.

Knit designed “Cardboard Objects” as a prototype that explores using collectable real world objects to trigger relevant app based content.

Jack Chalkley, creative technologist at Knit said: “We were intrigued by the Google Cardboard platform and challenged ourselves to make something that interacts with it in a new way. The low-cost, cardboard construction meant that modifying the device is easy and relatively low-cost.

“We settled on the idea of additional objects that could be attached to the device to give new experiences in the VR environment. This expands on the current interactions currently limited to panning around the environment and the single magnet-switch on the side.”

Currently, the apps for cardboard offer a limited experience that lasts 1-5 minutes. By adding a collectible element, the Cardboard Objects has the potential to extend this use cycle by making multiple objects available for a single app.

Knit explored four objects, all of which are based on concepts that would be feasible to produce:

- Postcard objects that transport the wearer to the location depicted on the postcard. If this were to be paired with a 360 content generation app such as Google’s Photosphere, sending a postcard could become sending a VR experience.

- Trading cards are collectible objects that are often part of a game. The trading card object suggests that this associated game could be used to form a digital, VR experience.

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- Character objects are a concept most popularly adopted by the Skylanders franchise. The character object could be used to allow new digital characters - within the VR environment - to be unlocked by physically acquiring more character objects.

- Key objects that can be used to unlock areas or objects within a VR experience. For example, a car company could use this to unlock a VR experience within its newest car model.

Nick Thompson, founding partner at Knit, said: “After the initial hype surrounding VR, the launch of Oculus Rift and now Google Cardboard has been a game changer. VR has become refined, usable and affordable to the masses, and now offers brands the opportunity to truly immerse the consumer in the product and brand experiences.”

In 2014, Knit launched its VR Experience division to focus on developing content for innovations such as Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift, with the agency also investing in 360 degree filming and editing software. Knit was acquired by experience design specialists Foolproof earlier this year.

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