Event Spotlight: How virtual reality goggles made from pizza boxes provided a front row view of TEDxAmsterdam


TEDxAmsterdam's Jasper De Valk uses the Google Cardboard virtual reality goggles

TEDxAmsterdam’s Jasper De Valk uses the Google Cardboard virtual reality goggles

If you were to have been out and about in the city of Amsterdam last month, you may have run into one of the many TEDxAmsterdam team members inviting passersby to watch the event live … through a pizza box.  A very cleverly manipulated pizza box, that is.

On the big day, 360º cameras filmed TEDxAmsterdam from the front row of the packed Stadsschouwburg Theater and TEDxAmsterdam team members took to the streets to let anyone check out the action with Google Cardboard, Google’s DIY virtual reality goggles that turn a phone into a VR device with just a few parts:


How Google Cardboard works (Photo: Google)

Cardboards were brought to city sidewalks, to viewing parties around the city, and even to the simulcast room inside the main venue, so even in-person attendees could have a front row view at the event. The goggles were also used to give attendees a chance to explore 1650s Amsterdam through a virtual world created by artist Rob Tuytel, celebrating the event’s theme, “Somewhere in Time.”


Tutyel’s 1650s Amsterdam (Photo: Westfries Museum)

Tutyel's 1650s Amsterdam (Photo: Westfries Museum)

Tutyel’s 1650s Amsterdam (Photo: Westfries Museum)

Amsterdammers were a bit skeptical of the devices at first, says TEDxAmsterdam Partnerships Director Jasper de Valk, but as soon as the goggles were on, it was all excitement, he says. The reception was so positive, the team at TEDxAmsterdam is already planning how they’ll use virtual reality next year. Their dream? Get a 360º camera onstage for a dance performance, choreographed specifically for VR.


An Amsterdammer tries out Google Cardboard goggles

Until then, watch a video recap of the cardboard adventure below:

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