The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

VR takes over the world

There has been a lot of excitement about virtual reality in the world of research, particularly when it comes to qualitative research. Advances in technology, coupled with more affordable VR headsets, are opening up new opportunities for us as researchers.

It’s now possible to transport consumers to different environments to test everything from shop layouts to new products without even leaving the room. And now, with the launch of Google Earth VR, there are no limits to where this could take us.

Google Earth VR, which launched this November, does exactly what it says on the tin: it gives you the chance to explore every corner of the earth — from the streets of Tokyo to the lakes and mountains of the Yosemite National Park — in virtual reality. Not only can you fly over cities but you can plant your feet on the ground and discover every nook and cranny.

While the service is currently only available on the HTC Vive, Google Earth VR shows the potential to create compelling virtual reality experiences from familiar products and services. This could play an important role in driving adoption of and increasing familiarity with VR technology. The service has received rave reviews from journalists and bloggers and it’s easy to see why: its launch shows the extent of what’s possible with virtual reality; and it’s exciting!

 

Emma Muckersie
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