The Google I/O conference this week has been light on virtual reality (VR) news, however the tech giant has today announced Google Tour Creator, designed to allow students to make their own VR tours.
Released as part of Teacher Appreciation Week in the US, Tour Creator has been designed to be simple to use for all age ranges with a drag and drop mechanic. Anyone who want’s to tell a story – not just students and teachers – can do so using imagery from Google Street View as a base or even their own 360-degree photos.
“The technology gets out of the way and enables students to focus on crafting fantastic visual stories,” explains Charlie Reisinger, a school Technology Director in Pennsylvania on the Google Blog.
Once someone has built their tour it can then be uploaded to Google’s library of 3D content, Poly. When inside Poly all users need to do is open a link in a browser or view via a compatible head-mounted display (HMD) like Google Cardboard or Daydream. Additionally, teachers can embed these tours on their school’s website plus later in 2018 Google will add the ability to import the tours into Expeditions, the app for VR field trips.
Jen Zurawski, an educator with Wisconsin’s West De Pere School District, commented: “With Expeditions, our students had access to a wide range of tours outside our geographical area, but we wanted to create tours here in our own community.”
“Being able to work with Tour Creator has been an awesome experience,” said Jennifer Newton, a school media coordinator in Georgia. “It has allowed our students from a small town in Georgia to tell our story to the world.”