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Google puts Expeditions, the VR app designed for classrooms, in the Play Store after long trial period

Google first talked about Expeditions way back at I/O 2015, after which they began trying it out with a large number of classrooms worldwide. Using the magic of VR, Expeditions would allow educators to take their students on realistic escapades into far-off lands. At long last, Google is making the app available to anyone who wants it.

Using a viewer like Google Cardboard and a smartphone, people can go on (self-)guided tours of places like Machu Picchu, Antarctica, the International Space Station, and even the now-defunct studio of The Colbert Report.

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To go as a group, it works like an old-fashioned LAN party.

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[Deal Alert] Google Store Deals: $20 Off SHIELD Android TV, $50 Off Nexus 6P, And $5 Off Cardboard [Update]

Google is running a few modest sales in the Google Store for the next few weeks, probably related to Father's Day. You can save some cash if you pick up a SHIELD TV, Nexus 6P, or Cardboard viewer. They aren't huge deals, but a discount is always appreciated.

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VR Party Game Is A Ridiculously Confusing Virtual Reality Experience For Cardboard

What if virtual reality was just reality, with a small asterisk? What if you could strap on your VR headset, regardless of the brand or technology behind it, and see the same thing that's in front of you... but mirrored? Or upside down? Or delayed by 2 seconds? Ha, what a novel idea!

VR Party Game does just that. It's a Cardboard app/game that transmits your smartphone's rear camera view onto the screen, but applies one of three special effects to confuse you. It can delay the view by 2 seconds, mirror it, or flip it upside down. The idea is to use it as a party game with friends, asking each other to complete a few tasks while wearing the Cardboard headset.

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The Google Store Starts Selling Cardboard VR Viewers In Canada, The United Kingdom, France, And Germany

So you've yet to snag a free Google Cardboard VR headset from a trade show. Or a Star Wars promotion. Or a copy of the New York Times, or a late-night talk show host, or even a freakin' porn website. And even when Google started selling Cardboard for actual money, they only did it in the US and not [your country here]. Don't worry: if you lack the skills and/or materials to build one of the ultra-cheap headsets, you can now buy one in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, or Germany.

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VRidge Lets Virtual Reality Fans Play Oculus Rift And SteamVR Games Using Google Cardboard

The current boom in virtual reality tech is progressing along roughly two lines: big, complex, and expensive VR headsets driven by full-power gaming machines, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and small, cheap headsets that slot a high-resolution smartphone in to pull double duty as processing unit and display, like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Users who don't have four figures worth of money to burn have had to make do with the latter. But a new app is hoping to change that.

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Android N Developer Preview 2 Settings Hint At Deeper Virtual Reality Integration

Virtual reality is the tech topic du jour, with nearly every major hardware and software company (or one of their partners) looking into it in some capacity. Time will tell if this is just a fad or something that will truly change the way we interact with technology, but Google is hedging its bets. In addition to the growing Cardboard VR platform, a few user-facing changes in the second developer preview of Android N point to more robust support for virtual reality in the future.

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Google Introduces Open Source VR View For Easy 360-Degree Photo And Video Embeds On The Web And In Apps

360-degree photos are cool, and they're gaining popularity quickly, but at the moment there's no easy way to get them into web and app content. Google aims to fix that with VR View, a new open-source system for easily embedding 360-degree photos and videos onto web pages and apps, both on Android and iOS. The new system is open source, allowing for (relatively) simple adaptation into a variety of situations. Google made the announcement on its Developers blog.

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[Weekend Poll] Do You Own (Or Have You Ordered) A VR Device?

This weekend's poll isn't explicitly Android-themed, but it is tangentially Android-related. VR is a big thing these days - everyone and their brother seems to be working on or investigating a VR platform. Rumors of Google developing its own full-on standalone VR headset have emerged from reputable sources, making it seem likely that 2016 will mark the dawn of the VR Wars.

Right now, Oculus Rifts are gearing up to ship, free Gear VRs (developed by Oculus and Samsung) are set to ship to likely hundreds of thousands of S7 and S7 edge owners, HTC Vives are up for pre-ordering, LG has its 360 VR headset as a freebie for G5 pre-orders on some carriers, and the low-cost Google Cardboard has proliferated since its announcement at Google I/O almost two years ago.

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Google's 360 Degree, Cardboard-Compatible Data Center Tour Is VR Porn For Industrial Hardware Enthusiasts

Don't let the information-rich but ultimately sterile presentation fool you. Google's latest 360-degree video, which offers a virtual tour of the company's The Dalles, Oregon data center facility, is porn. Okay, so it's porn for people with incredibly specific tastes. People whose blood starts to boil at the sight of thousands of rack-mounted severs. People who are aroused by a bajillion miles of meticulously organized fiber optic cable. People who get excited at the sight of intense biometric security. But porn nonetheless.

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Cardboard v1.8 Includes Cool New Arctic Journey Demo [APK Download]

It's time to get out your Cardboard viewers, there's an update to Google's demo app for the lil' VR platform that could. Version 1.8 came out yesterday with a brand new demo called Arctic Journey. It's a brief tour through some of the experiences we can have in VR, set in the frozen landscape of the very, very far north. As you might expect, words are inadequate to describe the scenery, so here's some idea of what you might encounter on a trip to the North Pole.


Image source: Google Cardboard (G+)

The tour starts with a cute arctic fox and continues through different scenes as it introduces themes like flight, playing, learning, creating, and relaxation.

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