There are interesting moves afoot in VR tech which may be interesting for local history researchers no longer able to go tromping ten miles up and down hills, or who can’t afford to travel, but who still want to ‘visit’ places. Lenovo Mirage Solo is a new $399 VR headset which interfaces with Google’s Daydream apps inc. a version of Google StreetView, and has been specially designed to “reduce VR motion sickness”. According to the motion-sickness prone reviewer, that’s true, at least for a 12 minute immersion.
Sadly UK over-pricing is in play, and Lenovo has them at £499 on Amazon UK. When a straight currency conversion of $399 means they should be £299.
Before you plonk down your money, though, note that PCMag has a much more critical Lenovo Mirage Solo review, which reveals a critical shortcoming…
“Google Street View VR is a disappointment. I expected a free-exploring experience that would let me navigate around streets photographed by Google’s Street View cars, seeing 360-degree shots of hundreds of streets in different cities. Instead, it offers a selection of 360-degree panoramas based on the location you enter, and that’s about it. you don’t get the full Google Street View experience in first person, like you do when you open up Google Maps on your computer and just wander around Street View.”
Still, it looks like we’re starting to see interesting steps forward in fixing the motion sickness problem while interfacing with StreetView. Give it another few years, and by 2020 we have have full-version StreetView at £399, without motion sickness.
So it looks like I’ll be sticking with the free Google Earth Pro for a few years yet, without the VR goggles. A copy of 64-bit Earth Pro running on Windows is a much better experience on a desktop than having to wrestle with Google Maps in a Web browser.