Google has reached another breakthrough as they aim to perfect their virtual whole-Earth model. The launch of Google Earth VR lets a user travel and teleport to any part of the world in a godlike virtual reality experience using HTC Vive.
Traveling is not cheap; but also, it is 2016. With the latest technological advancements, who says you cannot go to any place you want in an instant? What makes it more fascinating is that you can do it without spending a single penny (if you already have the HTC Vive headset, that is.)
Available on Stream store, users can download Google Earth VR for free in the initial release. Using the HTC Vive controllers, anyone can fly around Manhattan’s skyline, walk the streets of Rome, dive through the Grand Canyon, or just hover in the vast abyss of space and stare at the beautiful blue planet.
Like any navigator, users will be given a guide to familiarize the controls and know-how of the software. Google will give guided cinematic tours to various curated cities and previews of different landscapes. After the brief walk-through, the user will be left in the middle of outer space to stare at the virtual blue marble.
The controls of the trackpad are simple to understand and navigate. The HTC Vive controller will easily let the user point anywhere on the planet, spin the globe, zoom in, choose a location or fly back to space. Users can also tilt the Earth from spherical to a flat surface to be able to walk around.
Proceed with caution though. Just like any VR experience, using the headset too long by staring at the transition screen can strain users’ eyes and cause headache. Nonetheless, the pain is worth the experience.
Covering the entire 196.9 million square miles of our globe, Google Earth VR lets users flex their muscles as they make use of their godlike virtual reality powers to explore the entire planet seen inside the HTC Vive.
Photo source: Flickr