(CBS SF) — While technology companies scramble to get into the virtual reality business, Google jumped right in with this do-it-yourself solution: cardboard.

Everyone who attended the annual developer conference Wednesday received a pair of cardboard goggles that work with Android phones. To get it working, simply fold the cardboard to create a viewfinder, insert a smartphone, start the Cardboard Android App and voilà — you’re ready for some homegrown virtual reality action.

Using a magnet slider on the side, you can do things like watch videos on YouTube or float through space with Google Earth.

Designed by two employees during their “20 percent time” — what Google calls the time employees are allowed to work on their own projects — the idea evolved out of a mission “to make VR accessible to more people.”

For those unable to attend Wednesday’s conference, Google published the design files online so you can try making your own contraption out of everyday items found at home or a hardware store.


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