Indianapolis News and Headlines


Star Wars life: Ep. 4 Virtual reality in a box

Posted at 7:42 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 19:42:20-05

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of personal narratives by RTV6 Photojournalist Jason Scheuer, chronicling his love for Star Wars in anticipation of Star Wars Ep. VII The Force Awakens. He will also be wearing a different Star Wars shirt each day before the premiere. Follow along with his Twitter account, @jason_scheuer .

Just a few days left. The anticipation is just about too much to handle for Dec. 18 or technically 7 p.m. on Dec. 17.

Now that all the trailers are out for the movie -- along with a few new shots here and there in some TV commercials -- what else is there to fill our constant appetite for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens?

How about some cardboard? Sound Tasty?

Did not think so either, but what about Google Cardboard?

I was only slightly aware of the term and had no idea what it was or why I needed it in my life. When Verizon Wireless announced they had exclusive Star Wars Google Cardboard thingamabobs, let's just say they had me at Star Wars.

I will admit as a collector, I really just wanted one since it was printed with Star Wars graphics. Apparently Google Cardboard is a little cardboard box with a couple of lenses you stick your smartphone into and watch little movie clips on.

You have to download the Google Cardboard app for your phone but there are also special clips on the official Star Wars app as well. Thus the Star Wars connection with Verizon. I downloaded the apps, set up the little box and put my iPhone in to check it out.

I hit play and put the admittedly goofy looking box up to my face and just about had my head explode.

Seriously -- why did I not know about this sooner?

These are not just little videos, when you move your head in any direction the view changes. It's virtual reality in a cardboard box.

The typical opening scroll was practically in 3D  but then there was a planet and we were down on the surface and I could spin around and look in any direction, spaceships flying over head, The Falcon, BB-8 and myself were was there on the planet Jakku, or at least it sure felt like it.

I immediately had to find co-workers around the station to have them try it.

"You have to check this out!"

Candice Aviles, one of our anchors, had to try it out too, and she really has not seen any of the Star Wars movies. Everyone that checked it out was amazed even if they looked a bit silly with this Droid Box stuck to their face. 

My daughter, Zoe, 8, and a huge Star Wars fan herself, said “This was better than regular TV.”

She was walking around the living room with little to no thought about where she was walking or turning. So word of warning!

You are not on a planet in a galaxy far far away. You are actually here on earth and watch out for the table, chairs, couch or even your TV you might just walk right into it.

Every couple days they've added a new minute-long clip to the story to explore. Just what we needed for the final few moments leading up to the movie.

So if you are a Verizon wireless customer you might want to try and find a Google Cardboard box at one of their corporate stores. Not all Verizon stores have them so you might want to call ahead to see if there are any left.

They're limited to 200,000 for the whole country and available in four different styles, BB-8 , R2-D2 , first order Storm Trooper and Kylo Ren.

May the force be with you!