Virtual reality is an incredible new platform that nearly every video game manufacturer is hopping on board with. It seems that we can do just about anything in VR already and most of the biggest names in gaming headsets have only just thrown their devices into the fray within the last few months.
Though most (especially me) are excited about shooting zombies and piloting space-fighters in the far reaches of the galaxy, VR is about more than just gaming. The future is here and, with the help of some other budding tech, virtual reality will let us explore and experience things that were thought impossible before.
Here is a list of some of the best apps available on the Daydream platform right now.
Ok, so YouTube has been around for years… over a decade now, actually. It’s nice to see that a tool that nearly everyone uses has found a way to take its services into the future by adding VR support. Owners of VR devices can now watch 360-degree videos without having to click around with the mouse. By simply turning one’s head a viewer can explore videos like never before, putting you in the scene and immersing you completely in the experience. Obviously, the videos have to be filmed with a 360-degree camera in order to utilize the VR device, but the number of videos available is already impressive and more are added daily.
Star Chart VR
Star Chart is another cross-platform VR experience that is now available for Google Daydream. The app lets you look straight up at the sky at any time of day and allows you to see every star and constellation as if it were the middle of the darkest night. By turning your head you can focus on different star clusters and the app will reveal information about the constellation and even show a nifty, little graphic depicting the inspiration for its name. This app was cool before it had VR capabilities, but it’s even cooler when you don the VR gear and move your head during this relaxing and educational experience.
Google Street View VR
Google Street View could have been passed up for VR support. It is, after all, just an extension of Google Maps, right? Whether it’s a testament to VR’s implicit fun or something about Street View I missed the first time around, Google Street View VR has taken the app to new levels. Curious about what the Trevi Fountain looks like up close in Rome? Turning your head around the space will have you digging into your pockets looking for a coin to toss in. Never seen Big Ben? With Google Daydream you can almost feel the damp chill of England’s capital as you stare up at the giant clock. It’s a ton of fun to come up with new places to visit and, with Google’s dedication to having every street in the world available to see on their app, there is certainly a lifetime of content.
The Wall Street Journal VR
I’ll be honest. I do not read The Wall Street Journal. But the new app makes me want to invest every last penny just so I can see the pretty, 3D stock charts in The Wall Street Journal VR app. It’s not all about money in this VR experience, though. The app provides subscribers with all of the same material they would get in the regular digital or hard copies of the journal. It even goes so far as to provide 360 video for many of their videos, as well. The app adds to the immersive experience by placing you in an upscale New York apartment while you read stories and follow your trades. It’s a nice touch that will truly bring out the wealthy day-trader in all of us.
The Turning Forest
The Turning Forest is an interesting, little app. While it does feature some interactivity, I hesitate to call it a game. The BBC produced title drops you into a lush and colorful outdoor space and, as you look around at the gorgeous flora and fauna, a narrator welcomes you into a world of wonder. I won’t spoil anything else as The Turning Forest is a somewhat narrative experience, but suffice it to say, you will travel to beautiful and far away places. I can totally see this app paving the way for an entirely new form of worthwhile narrative experiences that were, until now, impossible to conceive.