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Introduction to Virtual Reality: The 5 most exciting apps, games and headsets today

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It seems like everyone is talking about Virtual Reality these days! VR can be used to simulate an environment similar to that of the real world or it can be used to submerge yourself in a completely new and fantastical reality. In 2016 91 million people bought VR headsets and with their increasing use in children’s education and adult vocational training it’s clear VR is here to stay. We’ve picked out some of the most exciting VR apps, games and headsets for you to take a look at.

  • 1) BBC Earth: Life in VR

  • The BBC and Google have teamed up to create an app that allows students to go on an underwater adventure in the most beautiful and faraway oceans in the world. Students are encouraged not to be just a passive viewer in the underwater world but to be an active participant, interacting with many different underwater creatures such as sperm whales and a giant squid! The app is available to download on the Google Play store and works on Google Daydream devices.

    2)  Google Expeditions

    Google have also created a free Andriod and iOS app that allows students to go on virtual field trips. There are currently over 200 locations available including places such as Base Camp at Mount Everest and the Taj Mahal. The best thing about this app that the Virtual Reality becomes a group experience as teachers and parents can connect multiple devices together and act as a guide to lead their explorers on their VR adventure!

    3) VR Education: Apollo 11 VR

    Is your child the next Neil Armstrong? This app created by Oculus allows you to experience the Apollo 11 moon landing through the eyes of those that actually experienced it. Not only are you able to relive the real life event but you can also get involved in recreating the moon landing itself. Participants are able to control the spaceship, guiding it through flying through space and landing on the moon, and also exploring the moon’s surface with the moon rover. For just £7.99 this app is perfect for igniting your kid’s interest in space travel!

    4) Google Cardboard

    If you’re thinking about investing in a VR kit but are not sure where to start, Google Cardboard could be the perfect choice for you. Google sells a range of colourful cardboard viewers that start from under £10! Place your smartphone inside the headset and the Google Cardboard app will automatically open up. The headset also has a magnet on the side which acts as a button for your phone, allowing you to control the phone’s screen while in the headset. For such a low price with plenty of functionality, this headset is perfect for your child to take their first steps in the VR world.

    5) Samsung Gear VR

    If you’re looking to invest a little more into a VR headset, GearBrain suggest the Samsung Gear VR. Although it can only be used with Samsung smartphones, it is much more high tech than other Google headsets. The headset is very user friendly with a built-in touch control pad that allows you to easily navigate the Gear VR store and your apps library. If you’re still unsure as to which VR headset is best for you take a look at GearBrain’s guide to buying VR headsets.

    If you’re keen for your child to take their first steps in VR, then why not sign them up to blue{shift}’s Introduction to Virtual Reality summer camp? Taking place from 30th July to 3rd August and 13th to 17th August at College Park School, Notting Hill, this is the perfect way for your child to learn the fundamental game design concepts for VR games. Campers will use the Unity game engine, the very same game engine used by VR game developers! This course will challenge our very top coders to take their programming knowledge to the next level.

     For more information take a look at our website or email us at hello@blueshiftcoding.com.