Google may have just launched its Daydream Virtual reality platform, but this hasn’t prevented it from getting involved with some of those already committed to the technology. Yesterday it unvealed Google Earth VR for the HTC Vive. It’s a piece of VR software which will enable users to explore the world like never before, giving them the ability to travel anywhere in the blink of an eye.

Use Google Earth VR To Fly The World's Breathtaking Views
Source: Pixabay

Google’s VR Dream

Right now Google Earth VR is only available on the Vive Headset. However, product manager Mike Podwal said that they are “actively exploring support for other platforms.”

This latest VR venture isn’t the first time Google has produced for the Vive. It previously launched the popular painting app Tilt Brush.

The world in virtual reality

You’re probably wondering what Google Earth VR can offer you. Believe us when we say almost everything and that it can take you everywhere you can imagine. Imagine being able to pick any city and walk/ fly through its streets and choose from almost any national or cultural heritage monument in the world.

In fact, if you want to reenact a little 80s Superman, you could even fly through the Grand Canyon if you choose to. All in all, it’s a complete immersive VR experience which covers a massive 196.9 million square miles of the Earth’s surface. Google even has you covered if you can’t think of a place to visit. It has included cinematic guided tours of places all over the planet. Initially, they are the Manhattan skyline, the ruins of Rome, the Amazon River, and the Grand Canyon.

Where to get Google Earth VR

If you’re an HTC Vive owner, you can get your hands on the World in VR for free. It’s available now on the Steam Store.

Google Earth VR comes just a few days after the tech giant launched its own VR platform, the phone-based Daydream VR platform. However, don’t expect Google Earth VR to be available on it, as it requires a more powerful system.

Minimum and recommended specs to run

As we mentioned above, Google Earth VR requires quite a lot of computing power to run on the HTC Vive. On the Steam website, the minimum and recommended requirements are as follows:

Minimum system requirements

  • Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Intel i5-6400 equivalent or better processor
  • 8GB of system RAM
  • Nividia GeForce GTX 970, or and AMD Radeon R9 or better
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • 4GB of available disk space

Recommended system requirements

  • Windows 10 operating system
  • Intel i7-6700 or better processor
  • 8GB of system RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 or better
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • 8GB of available disk space

User feedback

Early feedback on this VR app has so far been very positive.

One user called Damo wrote on the Steam website:

“This is the “ULTIMATE” VR experience. A whole Earth to explore. Perfect use of scaling as you zoom in and out. Comfort mode is optional. Google, Thank you for this experience. This is a MUST GET. Once StreetView/Oceans arrive, it will make this product even better. But as it stands it’s AMAZING. So download, head to Tokyo and pretend to be Godzilla!”

And Rafport wrote:

“Google Earth VR is excellent, pure virtual reality magic. Did everything in the right way, the interface is superb (super to use friendly and powerful), the comfort mode is very elegant and way better to any FOV tunnel I saw, any VR dev should watch at this. The earth is like a beautiful toy, and you’re a god. It’s so smooth and elegant, then after try this it look incredible nobody did it before.”

What can we say? It looks as though with Google Earth VR, Google may, in fact, help spread the technology, which is great, in our opinion; however, we would say that because we love tech. But what Google has to do is quickly get this onto other platforms, and that’s where it may take some time.

Have you used this new software? Share what you think about it or anything else related to this news.