Street View VR Review

March 26, 2016 Joe McGee 458 comments

Street View VR Review

Street View VR Title

9-5 Stars

Gear VR IconCardboard Icon

This app is much more awesome than I expected! At its heart, it is still the Google Street View you can view through a browser on your computer. However, the VR app does a very good job of making you feel like you are actually there. The 3D and 360-degree viewing are done very well with no fishbowl effect, and the resolution is very high. As far as I can tell, this app will take you anywhere the regular browser-version of Street View can take you.

 

StreetViewVRScreenshot01

 

The app loads with a particular street view around you right away and also displays a tutorial. The tutorial guides you through a very robust set of controls for the app. After the tutorial, there is a menu system hovering in front of you with an aerial view of a map. With this menu system, you can type in addresses to go to, see specific landmarks or points of interest, and change the app settings. Options in the settings menu include Wikipedia integration, a compass, and a quality setting for the resolution. Another option will jettison you to a specific point of interest such as the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, or St. Stephens Basilica.

 

 StreetViewVRScreenshot02

 

The main purpose of the menu is to enter in certain destinations or specific addresses just like you would in the browser-version of Street View. By clicking on the search bar, a keyboard will appear. You use your gaze and tap the headset control or controller button to type in an address using the keyboard. Once you hit the enter button, your surroundings change to the new location almost immediately. I was very impressed with how fast the new locations render. As soon as the location renders, you are able to view your entire surroundings in 360-degrees. You can also use the controls to move a blue circle in front of you and transport to that new spot, which effectively allows you to explore and travel the area.

 

StreetViewVRScreenshot03

 

If you have not checked out Street View VR yet, I highly recommend doing so. It may feel like you have already seen this because of your familiarity with the browser-version but I promise…you have not seen it like this. In fact, I typed in the address of the home I grew up in from Philly. I then spent hours travelling through my old neighborhood and on to downtown Philly. The novelty and nostalgia this app can recreate for you is unparalleled.

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