Based on the million-selling iOS and Android mobile app, Guinness World Records: See it 3D 2015 is coming to Samsung’s Gear VR in style. The adaptation from a device you hold to one that is the full extent of your vision has been handled gracefully, and though there’s room for improvement it’s definitely an exciting jumping-on point.
The general premise of the app is that, using the latest annual edition of the world-famous Guinness World Records publication, the user can make the pages of the book come alive. Certain aspects of the world record listings have been modelled in 3D and will literally jump out of the page after a few seconds of looking directly at the book.
Six examples were given in the preview build available at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, two of which stand out from the crowd thanks largely to their interactive nature. More are promised for the final build, which will be available to download via Oculus Home ‘soon’, but right now we’re making do with a very short woman and a dinosaur.
‘Very short’ is perhaps undermining the nature of Guinness World Records itself. This is the world’s shortest woman. Jyoti Amge, of Napur, India, is just 25 inches (63.5cm) tall. Now 20 years of age, she weighs just 12 pounds. Reading this information from the page of Guinness World Records‘ latest edition, and suddenly Amge enters the world through Gear VR. She stands atop the book, accurate in both height and physique (in relation to the book itself) and smiles as sweetly as she does on the pages. Give her a moment and she waves, acknowledging your interest and encouraging you to proceed.
Flick back a few pages and you’re presented with an altogether different reception, however. A long-tailed bi-pedal prehistoric creature is far less friendly in intent, but much more fun. Presented alongside a London bus and the famous red telephone box (also records covered in the book) the dinosaur is directly controllable with the Samsung Bluetooth controller. The left analogue nub moves the dinosaur around the full spectrum of your field-of-view – even when moving your head to incorporate a different space – and a press of a single button engages a biting animation. It’s fun, if only for a few moments, and shows the potential for future iterations.
Not all pages in the Guinness World Records book offer interaction, or even a basic 3D model. Instead it’s specific pages denoted by a symbol relating to the app. The Gear VR edition of Guinness World Records: See it 3D 2015 will inevitably offer a much more refined experience than any other version thanks to it’s inherent nature: limiting the user’s view to only that of the field available through the camera lens makes for a much more engrossing experience. The window is limited at this point; this is clearly augmented reality on a virtual reality device. Despite this however, Guinness World Records: See it 3D 2015 will be a welcome addition to the Gear VR’s growing list of applications.