Virtual Reality hardware and software is expected to grow rapidly over the next five years. With the advent of 5G-compatible chips, VR headsets will be able to do a lot more than they currently can. We’re not just talking about higher-quality graphics but also improved motion and face tracking. In the future, VR headsets will even be able to register micro-expressions on our faces.
VR isn’t just for gaming, even though it’s what people mainly associate it with. There are plenty of VR apps out there that give users immersive experiences and a creative platform on which to express themselves. In this article, we’ve listed what we think are the best VR apps in 2021 so far:
Google Expeditions takes Google Map’s street view to a whole new level. It actually allows you to visit famous attractions like the Natural History Museum in London from the comfort of your own home. You don’t even need an expensive VR headset for it. Simply place your phone inside the Google Cardboard and jump right into the immersive experience.
Beat Saber is one of the most fun games out on VR platforms right now. The setup is quite simple: you’re given a lightsaber in each hand while you stand in front of a virtual tunnel from which blocks come flying at you. The objective is to cut them down before they hit you. The game is synced to music which means that you have to cut through the blocks at the right moment. It’s reminiscent of Guitar Hero but instead of mashing buttons, you make slicing movements with your VR controller, which is way more fun.
Quill is one of the most fun creativity tools out there for VR. It’s essentially an illustration and animation app but everything is done in Virtual Reality, which makes it way more fun. Instead of illustrators having to draw over a tablet, they’re practically placed inside their own creation.
While Quill is great for creating an entire project from start to finish and can be utilized for individual stages as well. For instance, you could use it for storyboarding or concept-design and even to just present your ideas to the team before moving onto the actual development.
The New York Times seems to be getting ahead of the curve when it comes to news technology. When it started a few years back, they started rolling out VR footage via their NYTVR app. Instead of simply reading through a news article or watching a regular 2d video as you would typically do, this app offers a series of VR footage that you can immerse yourself in. For instance, their video ‘Fight for Falluja’ puts you directly on the battlefield with soldiers, giving you an adrenaline rush that regular footage just can’t deliver.
Aircar isn’t exactly a game, even though it’s classified as one. It’s more of a short demo because there’s really no objective or plot involved. However, it delivers a fun experience. With Aircar, you simply pilot a fly car through a futuristic city (the sort that you might find in a Bladerunner movie). While there aren’t any goals, the experience and ambiance are quite enjoyable. If you’re the sort of person who loves cyberpunk aesthetics, then this is sure to delight you despite being short.
Educational games that aren’t boring are rare to find. Fortunately, Incell just happens to be one of them. It’s designed to help improve your understanding of the human body by having you race through human cells. The fast pace at which you play the game helps keeps things interesting but it can make learning a little hard for some.
The game assigns you different missions such as running away from a virus or vaccinating a cell. There’s also a strong element of humor in the game which is bound to keep you coming back. Incell is only available for Google Cardboard which is a shame. However, it’s completely free and quite easy to play.
The apps mentioned above take full advantage of the technology present inside VR headsets in order to deliver fully-immersive experiences. Hopefully, we’ll also start to see some new apps pretty soon that take things even further!