Google Street View launched as a true standalone app just last month, becoming something of a shared gallery for the world's most awesome locales. People can easily look through and contribute to a vast selection of great photographs and photospheres from around the globe. But if you were looking for the truly immersive experience, the app was still somewhat lacking. That is, until now. The latest update adds Google Cardboard support, so everybody can take a trip without leaving their home.
To switch modes, just tap on the new Cardboard icon in the top-right corner of the screen on any 360-degree photo. Read More
According to my Steam statistics, I've played approximately 162 hours of Just Cause 2, a significant portion of which was spent grappling members of the Panauan armed forces to lit fuel containers to make them zoom away like man-sized Roman candles. Avalanche Studios' open-world magnum opus seems to nail what larger franchises like Grand Theft Auto forgot years ago: the most fun you can get from a sandbox game is in blowing large parts of said sandbox to smithereens.
So it's no wonder that the sequel, Just Cause 3, is making waves months before its release. In addition to the standard shooting/driving setup and the unique parachute/grapple hook mechanic of the previous game, the third entry will give players infinite batches of C4 explosives and a wingsuit for even more ways to traverse the massive game world. Read More
360-degree video for YouTube was introduced earlier this year, giving users the ability to move their phones or mouse cursors to shift their POV in any direction. Within a short time major advertisers such as Coca-Cola and Nike began using the new technology to create videos for their YouTube channels with the hopes of achieving greater customer engagement.
Based on initial feedback from the videos that were posted, viewers are more likely to watch a video in its entirety when they can control the direction the camera is facing. A 360-degree Coca-Cola video celebrating the 100th anniversary of their curvy bottle had a 36% higher view-through rate than the standard, single viewpoint video. Read More
If you haven't been able to grab a free Google Cardboard VR headset from various trade shows, under-supplied OnePlus promotions, Conan O'Brien, or anyone else, there's one more option. FreeVRGoggles.com does what it says on the box, so to speak: if you're a United States resident over the age of 18, just enter an address and an email and they'll send you a free Google Cardboard unit. (You can probably use a fake email address... and you might want to.) Slip your phone inside and you get access to all the compatible apps on the Play Store. Why? That's an interesting question. Read More
OnePlus announced recently that the unveiling of the OnePlus 2 later this month would take place in VR. Why? Why not, I guess. To support this effort, OnePlus will be giving away free-ish Google Cardboard VR headsets. They are available now and all you have to pay for is shipping.
It'll cost you $5 to get a Cardboard unit from OnePlus, but it sounds like it's not available in all regions. Indian users in particular are having trouble placing orders. Assuming you can get one in your region, it should ship out on or around July 10th. Read More
A couple of months ago, Google brought 360-degree videos to YouTube. While we're still not seeing a lot of multi-directional content popping up, it has certainly warranted some attention, including a fairly lengthy mention during the Google I/O 2015 Keynote presentation. At the time, we learned that YouTube would be adding VR video support for Cardboard later this summer. In a rare turn of events, Google's claim of "later this summer" actually meant it was one week away – or six days, to be exact.
left: old version, right: new version. Note the cardboard symbol next to the timeline
Now, whenever a 360-degree video begins playing, the overlay screen will show the Cardboard logo just to the right of the track bar shortly before the entire overlay fades out. Read More
Since debuting at last year's I/O, Google's Cardboard effort hasn't slowed down. Google has been making it easier and easier for manufacturers and developers to hop on board with its vision of virtual reality, and the project got some major updates yesterday. On stage, Google showed off a new Cardboard viewer that accommodates bigger phones (including those running iOS), 360 degree videos, and expeditions for classrooms.
Just last month, Google announced its "Works with Cardboard" program, along with new design guidelines and today Google has released an app that will make those guidelines tangible for VR developers and designers - Cardboard Design Lab. Read More
With Cardboard, it seems that Google is in the middle of an effort to push VR along as quickly as possible by inviting everyone to participate.
Since launching the viewer with an open-sourced design, Google has gone on to promote Cardboard-compatible apps, provide viewer specifications, and publish SDKs, encouraging more developers and would-be Cardboard manufacturers to join the party. Ostensibly the philosophy is that VR will reach its potential faster if everyone works together.
Today, Google has announced a new "Works with Cardboard" program to equip developers and manufacturers with even more tools.
For manufacturers, Google will release a tool that configures any viewer to work with all apps. Read More
Have you ever wished that Google would just open its equivalent of an Apple Store, so you could have a one-stop-shop for your favorite phones, tablets, and Chromebooks? The company has dabbled with the idea before, and Americans can kinda-sorta experience this in the corner of a local Best Buy, but now the Big G is taking things to the next level by opening its first branded shop. It just happens to be at Currys PC World in London.
I hear you, London is an awfully long ways away. You could pay for a plane ticket and ditch work or school just to stroll around for a few obscenely reckless minutes—or you could simply download the Google Cardboard app that's now available in the Play Store. Read More