Google Earth VR: a virtual world tour

Google is now offering a version of its Google Earth mapping service adapted to virtual reality that makes it possible to fly around the world like a bird (you know you imagined that at some point). An immersive experience striking, but reserved for the owners of the virtual reality headset Vive by HTC which is priced at £759.

Since it is virtually impossible to travel around the world, Google proposes to do it from home through a virtual reality headset, in this case the Vive by HTC, and a dedicated application, Google Earth VR.

The idea is to be able to totally immerse oneself in a virtual flight of the Earth, and to admire exceptional natural sites as seen from the sky. Google Earth VR thus allows a trip on some 510 million km², which offers the embarrassment of the choice to enjoy a truly exceptional spectacle. Several guided tours are even offered by default – from the Swiss Alps to the Grand Canyon in the United States.

HTC Vive is one of the most powerful virtual reality headsets

However, only the happy owners of a Vive headset signed by HTC can at the moment enjoy this free application from the Steam platform. This is not the first time that Google offers this type of exclusivity. It was the same earlier in 2016 with its application of 3D drawing Tilt Brush, it also for the time reserved for the HTC headset.

The price of the gear is just as astonishing as the views it can provide, with it selling at £750. At this high price, it is still necessary to add roughly £750 to £1,000 for a desktop computer with a configuration powerful enough to run virtual applications resource-intensive. Certainly cheaper than a real world tour, but still reserved for a clientele of affluent amateurs.