The limits of Cardboad style mobile “VR”

Google cardboard and its associated “face boxes with lenses” are the most common way into VR. And the most common use for those devices is 360 video.
But I want to just talk briefly about all the great many disadvantages to that easy first taste of VR.
Displaying two screens, one two each eye, in itself has limitations. But the DPI of phone screens, even rich ones blow up on lenses, creates a pixelated effect. Which is really not the worst thing about mobile based VR.
The problem lies in the brain. The human brain expects to see what the balance sensors in the body are sensing. It expects your arms to be where your arms are. Your feet where you feet are, your head to be in precisely the speed, angle and orientation your head is in. The smallest latency can produce nausea, incorrect mapping can produce disorientation.
360 video in itself is limited in that it cannot track your head position, only its orientation. It cannot map the users body in VR – it breaks what is needed for a comfortable, sustainable VR experience in itself. Put that on a mobile device, with its slower hardware, and inherent tracking latency, and the average video time in VR becomes a paltry 10 minutes or so, compared to the average 2.5 hours of television people watch daily. They simply don’t do it much, because the longer you do it, the more disoriented you become.
There are of course problems with VR related to all headsets. Light bleed. Angle of field of vision. The steaming up of the lenses, and general effect of heating under a head mounted display – these at least are problems that higher end hardware can try to address even if real solutions aren’t met yet – but actual 3d content, like vr games, played through a HMD like the htc vive, can be used comfortably for long periods without disorientation or nausea, and they offer a less pixelated experience where your body can be more accurately mapped in 3d space.
So while cardboard type devices, and mobile VR is a nice taster, and certainly the most popular, please remember folks, that 360 video on a cardboard is literally the worst VR experience you can have by a considerable margin. Try a real HMD like the HTC Vive, Oculus, PlayStation VR or the incoming mixed reality headsets for Windows before making your mind up on what VR is really about.