Last week, Google added a fresh batch of Google Cardboard devices to the Google Store. The most interesting-looking device was the Goggle Tech C1 Glass. It’s not like other traditional Cardboard headsets. In fact, it’s not really a “headset” at all. The C1 Glass has more in common with a pair of regular ‘ol glasses than it does a virtual reality device. We had to check it out.
The C1 Glass is probably the smallest device you’ll be able to find for viewing VR content. Everything except the lenses and phone mount has been stripped away. The result is a compact plastic frame that can fit in your pocket. There are some major benefits to this compact design, but also some major drawbacks.
The biggest benefit of the design is that your phone doesn’t need to be enclosed in a cardboard box. This allows all the light from your surroundings to still be visible while using the viewer. Everyone says using a phone in bed is a bad for your eyes because of the bright light in a dark room. That’s exactly what a typical Cardboard headset does. Using the C1 Glass is the same as looking at your phone in a well-lit room. It’s much easier on the eyes, and I never got motion sickness while using the glasses.
Surprisingly, for a very small device, the C1 Glass is more adjustable than a typical Cardboard headset. The lenses can be adjusted right-to-left in three different positions to match your face. This is something that’s very important for viewing VR content. Fancy devices like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR include the ability to make fine adjustments, but it’s not something you see in Cardboard devices a lot.
One thing that can be mildly annoying is the viewing area. When looking through the lenses you can see the bottom edge of the phone and sometimes even your thumbs. Noticing something outside of the virtual reality takes you out of the moment and ruins the immersive experience. This might not be an issue with all phones, but it’s something to consider.
Another thing that ruins the immersive experience is the lack of a physical button. Typical Cardboard headsets have a trigger that allows you to essentially tap the display without interfering with the viewing experience. The trigger is especially useful for playing games or navigating through apps. C1 Glass doesn’t have any triggers or buttons. If you need to interact with the display you have to take it off and use your finger.
The C1 Glass is not a virtual reality headset. Even using the phrase “virtual reality” is a stretch. It’s great for things like 360-degree videos, panorama photos, photospheres, and any other type of multimedia you can view. And that’s pretty much it. The C1 Glass is a tool for viewing 360-degree content, nothing more.
I happen to really like the simplicity of the C1 Glass. Let’s face it, playing virtual reality games with Google Cardboard is not a great experience. You can only do so much with one trigger. Viewing 360-degree content is where these cheap devices excel. All you need is a couple of lenses and a mount for your phone. That’s exactly what you get with the C1 Glass.
If you’re someone that likes to create and view 360-degree content, the Goggle Tech C1 Glass is a handy thing to have around. For just $15 you always have a window into another world in your pocket. Head on over to the Google Store to pick one up today.