Google now offers virtual reality in Street View app

By @s_rituparna on
Google Street View

Google has added the popular Street View service as a virtual reality (VR) app to Cardboard, its budget headset. Google Cardboard lets people tour the virtual world using Street View.

With more than 15 million installations, Google Cardboard can prove to be real threat to more expensive VR headsets in the market, according to the BBC. A recent update of Cardboard’s software development kit is primarily aimed at bringing improvements that solve reported problems.

“Finally, to help bring you to more places, you can now explore Google Street View in Cardboard,” wrote Brandon Wuest, Software Engineer & Stereoscopic Sightseer, in an official blog post.

Google’s Cardboard VR kit makes expensive technology much easier to use. It uses a smartphone that runs a Cardboard app as a display. The innovative Google Cardboard is currently available in 39 languages in over 100 countries on iOS and Android.

Google also made Cardboard viewer designs open for download. Now, anybody can make use of designs taken from a huge pool of certified viewers. Google has partnered with Mattel View-Master and the Zeiss VR One GX to make kid-friendly, plastic versions of Cardboard priced at $29.99 (AU$41).

Google also published the Cardboard Developer docs in 10 languages to allow developers to build VR devices. Wuest said this update would revamp “sensor fusion algorithms that integrate the signals from the gyroscope and accelerometer”.

“This improves performance by avoiding all major plugin overhead, and enables Cardboard apps to work with Metal rendering on iOS and multi-threaded rendering on Android”, added Wuest.

Street View through Google Cardboard lets users explore cities in a unique way. It lets users witness street images in 360-degrees and observe landmarks around the world. But the images won’t be in 3D, thus, it won’t be true virtual reality. Google last month announced Expeditions to let teachers take a virtual school trip using Cardboard.   

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