Before DIY Virtual Reality

Google just launched what seems just another playful and innocent app to add more content to its network, in this case, to its Google maps product. But to me, it’s actually a first approach to potential Virtual Reality (VR) user generated content (VR-UGC).

It’s called photo Sphere Camera (Appstore) and it basically allows you to create similiar views to the ones on Google Street View but anywhere you are (since Google can’t photograph the entire world themselves).

There where aleready some interesting 360º photo apps. For instance, Microsoft had one called Photosynth that seems to have been turned in some kind of photo -video-effect. But the cool thing about the Google approach is not only that the app is beautifully (and simply) designed, but it is also very easy to share to an online experience we are all already used to thanks to google streeet view. in fact, it seems that they will allow your “views” to be on Google maps. Maybe one day people will be using your views instead of the ones Google does.

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In my opinion, the most interesting part is how this kind of apps are connecting us to the advent of virtual reality. In the near future, we will not only be able to use Virtual Reality to travel to virtual worlds we’ve never been, we will be able to travel to that moment we were during a trip. Maybe, this “phosotspheres” I jsut created are the first of my “virtual” memories I can inmerse in the future using my Oculus Rift. Hopefully in the future will be in video and with audio.


Barcelona, Spain by Jordi Valls

See you soon on an Oculus Rift reality…