Immerse Yourself in the Experience of Others With GoPro Virtual Reality App
If you’re yet to get your Google Cardboard, those $15 virtual reality headsets that place you inside the cockpit of a plane, or onto an 8-foot gnarly barrel in Tahiti, or on a pair of skis, cruising round with abandon, you should probably get on it, because GoPro is about to inspire you to reinvent your weekend activities.
GoPro Released GoPro VR
Last week, GoPro released GoPro VR; a library of short videos featuring artists and athletes doing awesome things. The app release coincided with the release of GoPro’s new Omni VR camera – basically six synchronized Hero4 cameras that take 8K video 360. The camera costs around $5000, which still limits the number of people it’s currently available to.
The app’s interface is divided into 14 sections; in Architecture, stand at the base of the Eiffel Tower or prowl around parliament building in the German Bundestag. In Art, stand in the middle of a thumping kitchen in Amsterdam or gaze in awe at a fractals light show (this might the closest thing you’d get to LSD, if you’ve not already tried it). Cruise the ocean next to an 8-foot shark or jostle with G7 protesters in Munich.
The Sport section is arguably the most awe-inspiring and is almost enough to make you book a flight to any open ski hill on the planet on the spot.
For now, the available categories seem pretty basic, just a mix of languages and production levels. But once you’ve owned this device, gazing into the lenses and seeing an entire world open up before, behind, beside and above you won’t stopped being just breathtaking.
Theverge GoPro is building a spherical camera mount to enter the virtual reality market
The App Could Evolve
The app could eventually morph into a forum where anybody shooting in video 360 can upload (in which case they’ll need a much better way to sort the content) by category, but for now, it’s pretty much GoPro sponsored people and businesses, so it’s mostly people who really know how to do stuff, rather than some idiot learning to mountain bike, available for your viewing pleasure.
Whilst the cameras are shooting in 8k, the footage has been compressed in such a way that it can stream on your smartphone. As such, even though the picture can sometimes look a bit soft, you will still find the richness of the footage itself exhilarating.
My effusive praise for virtual reality (and, of course, the $15 headset!) may sound too contrived and too much like I’m drowning in the GoPro Kool-Aid, but this app and all the sensational stuff people are posting on it is really inspiring.
From exposing battery hen farms, to back flipping out of planes, to footage from satellites looking down on Earth, it’s a terrific experience to be a part of and one can’t but pine after the near future when we may all be sitting in empty rooms whilst living out other people’s experiences in full.