Google Has Started Building Its Secret Alternative To Oculus Rift

A virtual reality experience to fight against Facebook

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With the virtual-reality headset battle currently taking over Silicon Valley, Google has upped its gaming and app development game with… um, an app. Called Google Views, the tech giants newest project will take you anywhere on earth (while you lie in bed or on your couch). Yep, so if those 3D tours of space aren’t quite doing it for you, then Larry Page can transport you to some incredible sights a bit closer to home.

It uses “Trekker” cameras to massively improve the quality of street view, giving you life-like tours of places such as Brazil’s World Cup stadium (or the painted streets that surround it), the Taj Mahal and the river-roads of Venice. Or if you’d prefer to gaze at the world’s more scientific wonders, there’s also inside views of the large hadron collider at CERN and the Endeavor space shuttle at NASA. The company is aiming for a fully immersed experience, also working alongside other companies such as Amplifon (a hearing aids specialist) which adds short sound clips to Street View. Ok so its not the same as actually being there, but its a lot cheaper and easier, and still pretty damn good. It’s safe to say that their attempt to be the most compelling and mesmerizing virtual reality app outside of a video game will only continue to grow as time goes on, with Google already allowing users to share “photo spheres” through Views, as well as their interesting approach to a headset.

After it was announced that Facebook would acquire the Oculus Rift manufacturers for $2 billion, their tech rivals (and gaming experts) Microsoft and Sony quickly began building up their competition. Google on the other hand, took a different approach, releasing a hilariously brilliant alternative of the infamous Oculus Rift at their annual developer’s conference. It utilised the even-more-HD-than-HD screens that can be found in many current smartphones like the LG G3 into the display piece for its VR headset; the rest of which was made out of cardboard. But cardboard devices don’t necessarily signal defeat - in fact, they symbolise Google’s innovative ability to turn things we already have, into something amazing.