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Make Your Own VR Content With Google's New Camera App

Virtual reality just got a whole lot easier to create, thanks to Google. The company's Cardboard Camera is a new Android app that lets you take 360-degree photos and capture sounds to create immersive panoramas that you can view through Google's Cardboard VR viewer.

The app, which is compatible with Android 4.4 and later, guides you through taking a panorama-style picture. You'll have to hold your phone steady as you pan across the scene, making sure you are lining up the image along the guiding line. Cardboard Camera will capture depth and sound for a more realistic feel.

MORE: VR Headset Mega Guide: Features and Release Dates

Once you're done, you can tap the Cardboard icon at the top right of the app's home page to see it in VR. The app will split your phone's screen into two to display your picture stereoscopically.

Google explained that these VR photos are different from typical panoramas or 360-degree photos, which are two-dimensional images stitched together. VR photos are three-dimensional and have slightly different views for each eye so that near things look near and distant objects look far.

This is a great way to capture breathtaking or memorable scenes that you want to relive later, such as the Niagara Falls or a wedding ceremony. You can strap on a Cardboard headset, which are available starting from $15 from Google, and be right back at that moment without having to leave your couch.

Considering YouTube recently added VR video support, it might be time to get used to virtual reality permeating our life. Cardboard Camera is only available for Android at the moment, but Google said it plans to make the app available to iOS as well.

Cherlynn Low

Cherlynn is Reviews Editor at Engadget and was previously a staff writer at Tom's Guide, covering wearables, cameras and smartphones. In her spare time she enjoys devouring old episodes of Torchwood or The X-Files. Or taking selfies.