Virtual reality is the new reality for playing games and even for watching movies – however, it is still in inception stage and may take some time before it can prove itself. Of course the key players for VR are Google and Facebook with other key players picking up pace. Google hopes to kickstart VR adoptation early on this year by introducing a new VR View tool that makes it easy to both create and embed VR photos and videos in apps and websites.
How Does the VR Tool Help Developers?
With the VR View tool, you can embed 360 photo and video content through easy programming with the Cardboard developer kit. Google has even made the kit even more flexible by adding iOS support which greatly increases the usability of Google products. As Product Manager Nathan Martz says, ‘VR is great for entertainment purposes, but for VR to be as transformative as we all hope it will be, it has to be useful as well.’ The aim is to help businesses give as much as of an immersive experience as possible to an enthusiastic VR user.
So basically, if you ever want to experience how an under-water scuba dive feels like (metaphorically), you can easily go through the VR content and decide whether you want to take the risk or not!
What is the Cardboard SDK?
The Cardboard SDK (software development kit) first introduced in December 2014, is exclusively designed for Virtual Reality experiences. It is like a basic platform for implementing VR-specific technical features such as head tracking, spatial audio, and easy embedding of VR on websites and apps.
How Does VR View Work?
VR view is a client side display technology and therefore allows users to get 360-degree real world pictures and videos. Once captured the VR views can use images generated by any camera that support the equirect-pano format. This can be done via the Cardboard Camera App or the Ricoh Theta app for inexpensive solution to capturing 360 images and videos.
For developers, you can add the Cardboard SDK to your Android app by just adding a few lines of Java to the app (the details of which you can find on the Google developers blog here).
A Great Tool for Businesses
While businesses greatly wanted to delve in VR experiences, they were reluctant with the costs involved. However thanks to Google VR View, things now look easier as images and videos can be embedded for viewing on all latest versions of Chrome and Firefox and of course on iOS 8 and higher along with Android 4.4 and higher.
With this tool, Google has not just made VR viewing an enriching experience for the user but has also opened doors for developers and businesses alike to get their content out there. In the time span of a year, we may see great advances in VR as these giants combat together to give us users a near-to-real-world experience!