12.11

Travelling the world through VR

 

Google Earth VR turns the whole globe into a village-model type experience on a grand scale.

I love VR. While still a fledgling medium, it’s started to gain traction as an alternative way of travelling. You can explore the world beyond your everyday horizons without giving up your creature comforts or contributing to climate change through flying.

When you remove the headset, you feel like you’ve returned from somewhere else. This magic is perhaps most obvious in Google Earth VR, which recently added a vertigo-inducing ‘human scale’ mode to make everything look the size it does in real life. Obviously, I had to fly all over the world to try it out. The Statue of Liberty? Not as tall as I thought. 

Another superb VR ‘travel’ experience takes you to the tomb of an ancient Egyptian queen in Nefertari: Journey to Eternity. Wander an exact, photogrammed reproduction of Nefertari’s tomb – you’ll even see dust particles floating in the air. Although brief, this experience gave me a new perception and appreciation of somewhere 3,600 miles away. 

More importantly, I did the whole thing while wearing my pyjamas.