The tech giant is inviting virtual reality headset owners to experience Street View through VR with Google Cardboard, which has now made the option available.
- Google Cardboard has seen to 15 million downloads through the Play Store
- It’s available in 100 countries and in nearly 40 languages
- Google Street View is now available through any Google Cardboard enabled headset
- The app has seen improvements for both iOS and Android devices
It could be potentially exciting to simply put on a headset and feel like walking around any street in the world that is in the database. In fact, this seems such an obvious choice for virtual reality that it’s a surprise it hasn’t arrived sooner. Of course though, the images won’t be 3D.
The technology Google used to snap their highly popular feature was done through 2D photography, which allows only a front view of the streets and buildings. It would require an entirely new camera, and yet another world tour by Google cars to provide us with a full 3D life-like experience. Although it’s not farfetched to think the company is working on it.
However, those who have a headset compatible with Google Cardboard will still be able to enjoy the 360 angles available on Street View. It seems like the perfect application, and potentially a more fun way to use the feature. If it will not improve its abilities to offer information, it will at least add far more to the entertainment value of the app.
And this is all possible through the wondrous dev kit that is Google Cardboard. The app has already seen 15 million downloads via Google Play Store, and it’s likely to see many more in the future. With anticipation rising about high-tech virtual or augmented reality headsets, it’s probably that the numbers will skyrocket at some point in the future.
Google Cardboard is available worldwide for both iOS and Android devices, recently boasting availability in 100 countries and in 39 languages. This will widen the variety of developers to create virtual reality applications, by providing them with proper and, now, updated tools.
In addition to the news that Street View is available, Google also announced a few upgrades to the Google Cardboard app. According to software engineer, Brandon Wuest, the app has seen improvements with Unity performance and ‘drift’ correction. ‘Drifting’ essentially means that the pictures continue to move even after the user has stopped looking around through the VR headset.
Unity rendering software dev kit works natively and the ‘drift’ enhancements will see to a smoother experience. This will be especially important for phones with poorer sensors. Both iOS and Android devices can now better take advantage of rendering capabilities as well.
It’s impossible to deny that Google Cardboard has, and will continue to have, an exceptional role in turning virtual reality into a profitable market. It will encourage developers to easily create more apps, and probably prompt users to purchase higher-end devices like Oculus Rift, HoloLens or Gear VR when they become available.
Image source: developers.google.com