It’s time to redfine what ‘armchair traveller’ means. If a coffee table book with gorgeous photo spreads was your idea of armchair traveling, you should try a VR headset. Google cardboard literally brought VR to everybody’s living room with a simple idea and app publishers have been busy building some mesmerizing content.
Titans of Space goes beyond the usual 360degree panoramas to bring you a guided tour of the entire solar system, complete with a space traveling armchair or cockpit. Gazing at endless space below our glass cockpit gave us some serious chills.
Titans of Space
|Developer: DrashVR LLC
Google Play Rating: 4.5
Download from Google Play
Beautiful view of the planets. What sets apart the app is its ability to convey a sense of scale. As you whizz past the icy Saturn rings you do get to wonder about the puniness of human existence.
You can use the autopilot to zoom around in time and space, or spend endless minutes staring at giant gas clouds on Jupiter. Most cardboard’s don’t come with great lenses, so depending on how well made the VR unit is and how many pixels your phone can push, your experience will differ.
We were seriously thrilled, a fairly large download of approximately 350Mb and we set aside a good 15 minutes to enjoy the tour. Now, all that we miss is some way to leave a flag on saturns rings that we’ve been there, shouldn’t be difficult is it?
Google Play Description
Titans of Space® is a short guided tour of our planets and a few stars in virtual reality. Works with Google Cardboard.
• A powerful modern phone will give you the best results, not only with smooth framerate but also headtracking latency. Additionally, shutting down other background tasks may help with performance. To give you an idea of what to expect, this experience runs at 50-60 FPS for the entire tour on a cool Nexus 5 running Android 4.4.3 and minimal background activity.
• This program requires a phone with the NEON CPU extension (many modern phones have this). It may not work for you otherwise.
What’s Google Cardboard?
• Cardboard is a lowcost, easytoget virtual reality viewer that transforms a phone into a basic VR headset. Learn more about Google Cardboard at g.co/cardboard. Buy or build your own at https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/get-cardboard.html.
• Compare the sizes of planets and moons – everything is toy-sized, shrunk down to 1 millionth of their actual size. Distances between objects are not to scale to make comparisons easier.
• Feel the dynamic soundtrack, carefully matched to your tour.
• Enjoy full control over the pace and depth of your tour through a multitude of options, though just kicking back with the defaults is fine too!
• No form of input is necessary to experience the full tour, though if your headset has a strap, using a controller is recommended for comfort. The next best thing is to use a phone with NFC support with a Cardboard headset that has a magnetic switch, or a Cardboard 2.0 headset that can tap your phone’s screen.
• Catch up on what’s new in the Solar System! Your cockpit dashboard will display informational text at most tour stops. There are sometimes additional pages of information with extra detail.
• Translated into multiple languages. Some portions of the experience are still in English, and this is not the fault of the translator(s) as I just didn’t have the full text ready for them at the time.
• 50 minutes of narration / voiceover is now available as an add-on. To purchase this option, find the Narration panel in the green Options menu during the tour.