This is arguably one of the best implementations of Virtual Reality I have seen so far. Google Earth, which is something which is absolutely fabulous on its own, is getting a further boost in form of VR. Google has announced a brand new Virtual Reality version of its Earth services on the HTC Vive. Rejoice!
Announcing the news thorough a blog post, Google said,
Ten years ago, Google Earth began as an effort to help people everywhere explore our planet. And now, with more than two billion downloads, many have. Today, we are introducing Google Earth VR as our next step to help the world see the world. With Earth VR, you can fly over a city, stand at the top of the highest peaks, and even soar into space.
You are probably familiar with Google Earth. After all, it has been downloaded over 2 Billion times. If somehow you aren’t, well, it is a satellite powered initiative from Google that lets you explore all the vast reaches of the earth using high resolution satellite images and of course, a compatible smartphone or PC. The program has just gotten unbelievably cooler by going the way of the VR.
So now, whether it is the Himalayas, the Grand Canyon or the great coral reefs, you can visit them all even more realistically using Google Earth’s new found VR capabilities. At present, you can download Google Earth VR from the Steam Store for free. However, you need to have a $800 or so HTC Vive in your possession in order to start exploring.
Google has promised to launch Earth VR on other platforms as well, however you will have to wait until next year. For now, Earth VR is exclusive to HTC Vive. Meanwhile, we leave you with a video that while not as good as the real thing, can still give you an idea of the awesomeness of viewing some of the most fabulous places of our fantastic planet in VR. Enjoy!