Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's Oculus is the internet giant's foray into the virtual reality world. Google is countering with Cardboard. It's a real tossup as to which has the coolest name.

Other virtual reality systems, Rift, HTC's Vive, Sony's PlayStation VR and Samsung's Gear VR are making a real appearance in the virtual space as well this year. The first three in the Spring; Samsung in the Fall.

Google wants to be different

Google plans to distinguish itself by making Cardboard a standalone virtual reality headset.

Apparently, the device is like those old View-Masters where you click the little knob and watch new princesses appear. Okay, princesses appear if like me, that's your thing. You could see rivers or roller coasters or be on the wrong end of a fish hook.

Cardboard could be launched at Google's developer conference in May. I'll be doing the real versus virtual thing on a cruise ship at that time.

Facebook's Oculus needs to be plugged in. Google's Cardboard will allow users to view virtual content from a smartphone with by using censors and computer chips.

Self-driving cars in virtual reality

Google could make a Cardboard system big enough to put over one of its self-driving cars and the riders could just sit and be taken on a virtual reality trip instead of being forced to peer into a pair of plastic binoculars ... or not. Facebook won't be able to do that. At least not for a while. Unless, however, Facebook and Apple team up on the self-driving car Apple is not or is building.

It's quite fun to live here in the Valley and watch these giants square off. I am wondering when LinkedIn will come up with its virtual reality tool. Users could wear glasses that allow them to feel like they are actually at work.

What virtual world would you like to visit?

I was interviewed not long ago and was asked the question, "Bill, if you could experience virtual reality, where would you go?"

I wasn't expecting the question but I had an answer.

"Easy, I'd like to go back to the first century and experience life the way it was when Jesus walked the paths of Israel. That'd be cool."

What virtual world would you like to go to? Got dreams?

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