Virtual reality is becoming more and more common. Everyone with a smartphone can now get their hands on a VR headset, no matter their budget. From the super high-end Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, to the virtually free Google Cardboard and the more mid-range Samsung Gear VR – there’s a headset out there to fit any head.
Breaking news: ASUS ZenFone AR to bring Tango AR and Daydream VR
VR is already so common, in fact, that YouTube is now home to thousands of 360 degree and virtual reality videos; Android users can use the app to watch VR videos in their headsets, however the YouTube app for iOS doesn’t have a headset mode just yet – but it still supports 360° video watching.
It’s time to grab your Google Cardboard and take a look at the best VR videos on the Internet right now.
Have you always dreamt of going down the rapids of the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon? 360 Labs and Western River Expeditions have collaborated to bring you to the heart of the action – even though you’re really just sitting on your sofa.
This 4K video (it will take time to load, but it’s worth it) takes you through the heaving rapids and educates you on the history of the Canyon. Take a look at it now:
Swim with sharks without the risk of having a bite taken off your leg in this 360° video by MythBusters. Explore an old, seaweed-covered shipwreck and take a good look at some of the scariest fish in the sea (and plenty of them.)
Did you know a group of sharks is called a shiver? Because that’s definitely what you’ll feel once you get a bit too close to them. Check out the video here!
Fluffy white bunnies meet aliens in this sneak peek at a new film by the creators of Madagascar – and by the power of virtual reality, you are one of the bunnies. It’s the cutest, and one of the best animated VR videos we’ve seen.
Take a look now, and try not to let the aliens get you with their lasers.
Virtual reality is most famous for its uses in entertainment like films and video games, however there are plenty of other industries where VR will prove to be a fantastic asset. We take a look at what we think will be the best uses of virtual reality, from medicine to real estate.
1. Medicine and Healthcare
VR is becoming a great tool to help doctors treat a variety of illnesses, both physical and mental. It’s perfect for exposure therapy – usually used to treat phobias – by providing a safe and controlled environment where patients can face their fears (like heights or claustrophobia) in order to develop coping strategies.
Another use of VR in medicine is obviously training. Surgical training, in particular, will benefit from virtual reality as it will provide students with a means of practicing their skills without any risk to patients (and without having to practice on dead bodies.)
School will never be boring again – not with the introduction of VR to classrooms. Educational games could offer a more immersive way of teaching, from science to literature and history, by transporting students to the heart of the subject. The recreation of historic scenes, for instance, could make it more entertaining and easier for visual learners to enjoy a subject.
VR platforms dedicated to educations are already available, and with budget headsets such as the Google Cardboard it could soon become very easy for every teacher to offer their pupils the full virtual reality experience.
3. Real Estate
Sometimes, simply viewing picture on Rightmove or Zoopla isn’t enough. You need a proper tour, but it’s nine o’clock at night and the estate agent’s office is closed. What if you just popped on your Samsung Gear VR and visited the house of your dreams just like that?
Right now, VR is mostly being used to tour luxury homes in the United States – this is because the cost of filming a home for virtual reality is around £400. However, as the technology develops, we can expect to see it take a firm hold in real estate; you might even buy your next home before you’ve viewed it in person!
Imagine being able to visit a foreign city without having to pay for expensive plane tickets or hotel rooms! Or at the very least, get an idea of the walk from the U-Bahn station to your AirBnb before you get there, like a better version of Google Street View.
With a VR headset strapped to your face, you could be transported to Milan or Bali a take a virtual tour of the area before deciding to make the trip there – making it much easier for indecisive travellers to choose their next destination, hotel, and sights to visit.