At the end of Google's keynote yesterday, Sundar Pichai announced that all I/O attendees would receive either an LG or Samsung Android Wear device, along with Moto 360 when it becomes available later this summer. But he also offered up an unexpected gift... the slide read #cardboard (yes, with the hashtag) and Pichai held up a small brown square, barely large enough to accommodate a thin book for shipping purposes -- but Google had something else in mind. Once assembled, #cardboard serves as a head-mounted 3D viewer, using your own smartphone and a pair of integrated lenses to create the effect.
Functionally, it's virtually identical to the PhoneStation we saw earlier this month at Computex, but unlike that yet-unreleased device, Cardboard is available now for I/O attendees. The rest of us can pick up a similar version from San Francisco-based DODOcase, which is making the kit available for $20, or $25 with an optional NFC tag, plus 4 bucks for shipping. The set, which ships within 4-6 weeks, will net you pre-cut cardboard, lenses, a magnet, a rubber band and velcro, which you can assemble together in five minutes. Just add your smartphone.