New York Times giving away Google Cardboard ahead of VR app

Consider this news something we never thought we'd read about in 2015: The New York Times, as in the newspaper, is going to release it own virtual reality app in the coming weeks. The content itself will be made up of documentary-style short films, but in order prepare readers for the new experience, the NY Times will be shipping Google Cardboard to subscribers who have the paper delivered to their homes.

The app itself is called NYT VR, and is set to launch on both iOS and Android on November 5th. Over 1 million NY Times print subscribers will receive their free Google Cardboard headset during the weekend of November 7th and 8th.

The first film to debut on the app is The Displaced, which focuses on the lives of three refugee children from Ukraine, Syria, and South Sudan. Dean Baquet, NY Times Executive Editor, said that they've "created the first critical, serious piece of journalism using virtual reality, to shed light on one of the most dire humanitarian crises of our lifetime."

The VR experience is said to be best viewed with Cardboard, which is compatible with most smartphones, however there will also be a standard 2D version of the app available with the films, and they will be shared on YouTube as well.

The NY Times adds that Times Insider subscribers and a select number of digital subscribers will receive redeemable codes for a free Cardboard headset, which usually runs for around $25.

SOURCE New York Times