Google owns several platforms that have long been requested for virtual reality (VR) support, especially for its DIY device, Google Cardboard. Earlier in the year the company finally brought that head-mounted display (HMD) support to the YouTube video sharing platform, letting fans view 360 degree content with the kit. This week the company is bringing VR support to another long awaited app, Google Street View. The official mobile apps for this ever-popular service will now support Google Cardboard.
The company made the announcement in a recent blog update. The most recent update to the official Google Street View app apparently includes a Cardboard option which, when selected, will display content in 2 side-by-side images and use the given phone’s gyroscopes and more as a means of head-tracking, allowing users to insert the phone into a ‘Works with Google Cardboard’ HMD and look around these environments as if they were really there. Google Street View has charted vast areas of the world with panoramic photos, meaning users can visit a wide variety of locations. The update is available for the app on both Android and iOS.
Sadly, there’s still no word on when, if ever, Google might offer official VR support for these services on other PC and console-based HMDs such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, though some third-party solutions are available. The company certainly remains committed to VR as a whole, though, offering a wide range of devices under its ‘Works with Google Cardboard’ line and launching new initiatives such as its 360 degree filming system, Google Jump. The designs for the original Google Cardboard itself have also been updated to accommodate larger smartphones.
VRFocus will continue to follow Google’s work in VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates from the company.