Google Cardboard, a virtual reality viewer made out of, yes, cardboard, was initially received with hesitation by the technology industry. Some even called it an elaborate practical joke. But three years later, developers, conferences, and everyday users continue to embrace this low budget and accessible VR device. If you don’t have a Google Cardboard device already, you can get one for under US$20 on Google’s website, or you can just visit a local VR conference or meeting where you’ll stand a good chance at getting one free. Google Cardboard is a great candidate for implementing voice commands. To date, Cardboard builds have primarily relied on “gaze” interactions, where a user needs to look at an object for a minimum amount of time in order to interact with it. There are no hand controllers for Cardboard and therefore the number of possible interactions in an experience is drastically limited. And Cardboard apps can be easily distributed to anyone with a mobile phone so developers can quickly gather feedback on their builds.  Our developer journey, Create a virtual reality speech sandbox, shows you how to enable voice commands in a Google Cardboard application to add a whole new catalog of dynamic interactions to your mobile VR experience. You can introduce dialog to the in-app environment, decrease gaze-times by enabling verbal command interactions, and give users command/control capabilities over application functionality.  You can access the journey code in our Github repo. You’ll learn how to use IBM Watson APIs in Unity to easily build in voice commands to your virtual reality experience. You’ll be able to increase immersion and enhance your users’ VR experience by turning your their voices into the controller. You’ll design an experience where users can create, destroy, and interact, all with a simple voice command. Get started with our virtual reality speech sandbox journey today. You’ll find code, step-by-step instructions, architecture diagrams, everything you need to enhance a virtual reality experience — and your VR development credentials!

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