Oculus Go 2It’s here. $199 takes you into virtual worlds for startlingly up-close research. Float in the Orion Nebula and watch a star being born thanks to NASA’s Hubble Telescope. Look at the world of the 1800s through sepia stereoscope photos. Stand in the streets of major cities and gawk like a tourist.

Oculus Go* is a standalone, portable headset. You don’t need to buy anything else. The world wants to immerse you in free virtual reality. NASA, Nations, the Vatican, NGOs, foundations, zoos, theme parks, the BBC, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, Fox News Live, etc. all benefit from placing you right smack in the middle of what they have to offer. Did I say theme parks? If you haven’t yet, do ride the roller coasters <wicked grin>.

One free app, AltspaceVR, even allows you to set up book launches that can be attended by people from around the world.

This is all new to me as the gadget came on the market just last week. But before I write a scene now, I’m asking myself, can I find that place and go there for inspiration? Or for accuracy? No one needs to write a scene that takes place on the International Space Station without first having been inside it. If you’re not an astronaut, pop the headset on & take NASA’s 3d virtual tour. See it all up close.

*Caution: Should not be worn while operating heavy machinery.

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11 responses to “Research Tool: Oculus Go”

  1. GD Deckard Avatar
    GD Deckard

    I thought of you when writing this, Mimi 🙂
    Imagine standing where Sly was in your story. Yes, things have changed since the Sly days, but Europe has a way of keeping-up old buildings and, I suspect, there are old neighborhoods that retain hints of their medieval days. Maybe you can go there without leaving your writing desk and look around for inspiration?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mimispeike Avatar
      mimispeike

      Is there an app for showing me sixteenth-century Hameln?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. GD Deckard Avatar
        GD Deckard

        I don’t know, but probably not. There may however be one of present day Hamelin.

        Like

        1. GD Deckard Avatar
          GD Deckard

          Update, Mimi. I was just on the surface of Pluto. So, maybe, sixteenth-century Hamelin really is a possibility 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. mimispeike Avatar
    mimispeike

    I’ve never been much with physical description. In fact, I make a joke of my lack of it. The important thing to me is the depiction of personalities. A cat is a cat is a cat. Sly is a smallish tabby something past mid-life, but he likes to think he looks much younger. And he has a weird thing for boots, rooted in his childhood.

    Hameln, I say it’s a working town, built on grain (true). It’s close-packed and dirty, a few haves and most inhabitants have-nots (true). Same old story. I’m just getting into that now, and it will be easy to write.

    My over-all disclaimer will be: Give me a break, folks. This is a story about a talking cat. I’m not writing history, despite Angela on Book Country’s comment: “I can’t take any more of this. I didn’t know I was going to be plunged into a history class.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perry Palin Avatar
    Perry Palin

    A friend of mine, a jazz musician, thought he needed to go to New Orleans to do on-the-ground research for a novel. His wife said he should use the money instead to pay the real estate taxes and buy himself some new clothes. With this new research tool, good-bye New Orleans!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. atthysgage Avatar
    atthysgage

    Well, better than a Viewmaster, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. GD Deckard Avatar
    GD Deckard

    LOL Atthys! My first VR experience was with a Viewmaster. I took pictures with a Viewmaster camera in Germany in 1964. To this day, I can look at those old “3d slides” and recall what was behind me and the feel of the weather. The new ones are for virtual realty viewing using your cell phone and Google’s program, Cardboard.

    Speaking of Google, it is on the Oculus Go so you do have full Internet browsing. I spent this afternoon researching the USAF Medical Center at Clark Air Base of the 1960s. I used the Oculus instead of my computer and noticed this difference:

    Computers are now background, just another part of our information environment. Like information from a wristwatch or a cell phone, the data you see on a monitor comes straight at you. It’s linear.
    But a VR headset puts you in the center, inside information that bombards you from all directions. It’s an experience.

    Thanks to the VR capabilities of the New Horizons spacecraft, I stood on the surface of Pluto, turned my head to see the nearby mountains and Pluto’s satellite, Charon, just off the horizon. Then I looked up to see the distant sun. I wasn’t looking at a flat picture, I was inside the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. victoracquista Avatar
    victoracquista

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlAvtuyRI8Y This web intro is not very informative, but it is has been clear to me that this type of VR has a lot of untapped potential. Think of learning to do an appendectomy to illustrate active rather than passive learning. The gaming potential is just beginning, but the immersive learning experience seems to me to be the area that is most exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mimispeike Avatar
    mimispeike

    You’ve given me an idea, GD. There must be a movie about the Pied Piper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GD Deckard Avatar
      GD Deckard

      Yes Mimi …
      Cheating the Piper (1920)
      The Pied Piper (1933)
      Paying the Piper (1949)
      The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957)
      The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961)
      The Pied Piper (1972)
      Pink Piper (1976)
      Fluteman (1982)

      & don’t forget Dr. Who
      The First Doctor, John and Gillian first meet the Pied Piper in the comic Challenge of the Piper.

      Liked by 2 people

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