Google’s Street View program will soon be available as a virtual reality app for its virtual reality headset, Google Cardboard. This latest news, along with sales figures recently unveiled by Google, suggests that the budget headset could be a serious threat to the more expensive headsets that are offered by other companies.
Virtual reality analysts are saying that Google’s Street View is a perfect fit for the company’s headset.
Analyst from the research firm HIS Piers Harding-Rolls said, “Google has lots of information and services on the market and some of it will be relevant for VR. Street View is 360-degree videos so it is one of the easiest things to get on VR."
Additionally, Google announced that it has an increasing number of officially certified viewers being made compatible with its virtual reality technology. Some of these viewers include the Mattel Viewmaster and the Zeiss VR One GX. These viewers are more durable than the original Google cardboard viewer.
Google has also been working to update its software development kit in order to put an end to some problems that have been reported by users.
The company said in a blogpost, “This update includes a major overhaul of the sensor fusion algorithm that integrates the signals from the gyroscope and the accelerometer. Google Cardboard is bringing virtual reality worldwide.”
Users who access Street View using Google Cardboard will not be treated to true virtual reality, since the images will not be in 3D. However, users will be able to access street images with a 360-degree view. This will provide users with a new way to explore cities and notable landmarks from around the world.
Google Cardboard is currently available in over 100 countries worldwide, and apps have been installed by users more than 15 million times. It is supported on both Android and iOS systems.
Last month, Google announced its Expeditions app for Google Cardboard. The app will allow teachers to create virtual school trips for their students. Google is working in conjunction with organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian to create virtual reality experiences for thousands of schools. Google says that it wants virtual reality to be an educational tool, in addition to its use as an entertainment device.
Google has not announced any plans to create a more durable headset as an upgrade to its Cardboard.