By Raunak Haldipur
When the Google Cardboard was launched in 2014, we knew that Google was very serious about Virtual Reality (VR) because they priced Cardboard really low. Post that, Google has launched many VR apps of which Expeditions is a free app launched for educational institutions.
Understanding Expeditions and its usage
Through this app, students can get in the centre of various places of historical importance and experience these places in 360-degree view. This is a great way of learning for school students. However, now Google has opened this app for the public. To use this app, one needs a Google cardboard or any other compatible VR headset. The Expeditions app is also compatible with Google Daydream View, which is a VR headset that comes with a remote to facilitate easier navigation and functioning.
Be a guide or an explorer
While the Expeditions app was built with classrooms in mind, it now also has a solo mode. Using this mode, people can explore nearly 600 different places on their own. Each tour has its own facts which are read out to the user. It is like having a personal tour guide. In group tour settings within the app, users will be able to connect the devices over a common Wi-Fi connection and have a guide direct the explorers through the tour. Basically, there are two ways in which this app can be used- by becoming a guide, that is, leading an expedition or by being an explorer, that is, by following an expedition. Users can switch between these roles easily within the app.
Hiccups in the tour
This app is the next best thing for people who do not have the time or resources to travel the world. I have explored the Great Barrier Reef and the Taj Mahal using my Google Daydream View headset. The experience is amazing and almost real. There are only two disadvantages to this VR app experience. Firstly, prolonged usage makes one feel giddy and sometimes nauseated. Secondly, the phone gets heated up really quickly due to which the battery drains really fast. This further reduces the phone’s performance.
New Features Coming Soon
Google is planning to improve the experience by way of new additions like annotations which allow guides to draw inside the 360 sphere and bring attention to certain features of the environment as they are touring about in the VR. For example, you can get a 360 degree view of the Taj Mahal using the expeditions app on a VR headset. You can see the people around you and also walk and navigate around Taj Mahal. As a guide, you will be able to add or edit facts.
The app is available for both Android and iOS. Expeditions is also coming up with augmented reality and is dubbed Expeditions AR. Expeditions AR uses Google’s Tango technology to map the physical classroom and placed 3D objects. Students can walk all around the objects, get in close to spot details and step back to see the full picture. However, this feature is available only to educational institutions. In this manner, Google is trying to make the Expeditions app very interactive.
With the expeditions app becoming available for the public, a lot of exciting things are about to be unveiled. Google will make this app a self-sustaining app like Google maps where the public will contribute to enhance and add content to the application, making enriching the content and accuracy.
Featured Image Credits: Visual Hunt
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius