“As the Internet of things advances, the very notion of a clear dividing line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred, sometimes in creative ways.” Geoff Mulgan
Google Earth VR — Bringing the whole wide world to virtual reality
Virtual reality is a technology that could actually allow you to connect on a real human level, soul-to-soul, regardless of where you are in the world. Chris Milk
Crucial to science education is hands-on involvement: showing, not just telling; real experiments and field trips and not just ‘virtual reality.’ Martin Rees
What is Virtual Reality (VR)? It can be described as a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body (Wikipedia). With the new release of Google Earth VR which, by the way, requires a headset and is currently available for the Steam HTC Vive user, the conversation returns to its applicability to every day life and for people around the world. As a novice interested in all the complex technologies invading our mutual space, I think it is important for us to pay attention to the advancements around us and to stay informed about the many ways these technologies can help us improve our lives, and help us get creative and innovative with the work we do.
My kids are part of the millennial generation that grew up in a video game interactive world; a world where steampowered technology is ubiquitous to them and their generation. They get together with their friends and venture into spaces that can only be accessed through these invented realities. Yet, these inventions open them to a creative realm where other kinds of creative inventions and ideas become accessible. Remember the days of the dial up phones? We are so long past those days and to sit and imagine a world without technological advancements is to sit on the precipice of a volcanic mountain wishing it would stop rumbling… Ha!
READ: Google Earth For Virtual Reality Lets You Fly Like Superman – Fortune.com
“In virtual reality, it’s more about capturing and creating worlds that people are inhabiting. You really are a creator in the way the audience lives within the world that you are building.” Chris Milk
When people take off the headset, they immediately have a creative idea about what they can make in virtual reality, and a lot of them immediately want to get involved. Brendan Iribe
In the past, before phones and the Internet, all communication was face-to-face. Now, most of it is digital, via emails and messaging services. If people were to start using virtual reality, it would almost come full circle. Palmer Luckey
What’s all the hype with Google Earth VR? “With Earth VR, you can fly over a city, stand at the edge of a mountain, and even soar into space.” Ever wished you could visit some of the most popular places in the world? Well, sit tight, you can go there from your living room and experience it with such intense closeness and precision that folks who visited the actual site would be envious of your virtual knowledge and detailed experience… Yeah, “Earth VR comes with cinematic tours and hand-picked destinations that send you to the Amazon River, the Manhattan skyline, the Grand Canyon, the Swiss Alps, and more.” It’s what one can call a new dimension game in the ever growing world of VR. As described on the site page, it allows us to explore the world from different perspectives; we can walk, fly, interact in a wide range of settings from the comfort of our homes and, heck, if you’re scared of heights, you don’t even have to stand up to see the span of a city, the depth of a favorite nature spot or even climb to the highest heights.
With your Vive headgear on, you can day dream, create 3D art, take your students on a virtual field trip and jump right in to find creative ways to explore and expand your interests. If you can’t afford the new head gear that Vive offers, you can start small with the cardboard version that serves as a basic yet decent introduction to the field. Of course, there are side effects to all that cyberspace movement. Oops! If motion sickness is your lot, buckle up and find another pathway to your reality… This might not meet your needs quite yet. But I digress.
READ: Google Earth VR May Be The Best Way To Explore The World Without A Plane Ticket – FastCompany.com
“At the same time, one of the things I noticed was that the moment there was any kind of audio attached to virtual reality, it really improved the experience, even though the audio didn’t feel like a sound engineer or composer had been anywhere near it.” Thomas Dolby
What the computer in virtual reality enables us to do is to recalibrate ourselves so that we can start seeing those pieces of information that are invisible to us but have become important for us to understand. Douglas Adams
It turns out that the killer application for virtual reality is other human beings. Build a world that people want to inhabit, and the inhabitants will come. Charles Stross
What more can we learn from the world of Virtual Reality? For starters, you need to know that Google Earth VR is offering a free download for the HTC Vive headset as it opens its vista doors to VR. Yep, those landscapes you thought were so cool will even be cooler and those dry geography classes can take on a whole new virtual life that would make you the favorite teacher of the moment. As an educator, what drew me closer to this conversation, given that as much as I love technical things, I rarely write about them, was the multiple uses that can be applied to VR. Also, the Discover prompt below had me thinking of what it would be like to write in the style of a novice tech writer; not quite the approach of an expert but of a mom and technology fan.
Did you know that its uses extend to a wide range of fields from the following and beyond? Education and training, Video games, Therapy, Exercise/fitness, Sports viewing, Motion pictures, Fine arts, Theme parks, Concerts, Retail, Charity, Heritage and archaeology, Architectural design, Engineering, Entertainment and more… I remember wen my kids used to use their play station for all sorts of things and what about that virtual reality exercise routine we all tried on our TV sets. Of course, the advances continue to offer options that make us feel as if we are truly inside of an experience and it can open our minds to new ways of viewing our environment. Frankly, as a visual learner, I’m looking forward to the day when VR can just do those sits-ups and other exercises, cook those meals, and take me on a journey through the ancient cities while I kick back with
a double scoop of ice cream a fruit flavored water bottle at hand… What about you?
READ: Google Earth in VR is a beautiful reminder of how small we are (hands-on) – CNET
This post was inspired by a Daily Post Prompt: – In The Style Of – This week, publish a post in the style of a writer or artist you admire, or in the style of another genre. You don’t have to write about politics or current events to give this a try — you could just as easily: Publish on any topic you’d like, but with a new lens — who knows what you might reveal? To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.
Positive Motivation Tip: Expand your mind and your reality!