11 apps to help you introduce people to VR
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SightLine: The Chair
This app, recommended by both Convrge co-founder Shawn Whiting and Kite and Lightning co-founder Ikrima Elhassan, was actually designed with first-time demoing in mind. The user puts on a Oculus Rift Developer Kits 2 (DK2) and the app takes care of the rest. Everywhere the user looks the world changes. Compatible with the DK2.
Oculus Tuscany Demo
This app is built to test the functionality of your Rift. It’s also a pleasant stroll through a little Italian villa and the surrounding grounds. Compatible with the DK2.
Jason Latta from digital agency Power Creative recommends Anshar Wars as a good beginner game. You can pilot a spaceship and shoot things amidst a dramatic score. Compatible with Samsung Gear VR.
Titans of Space
If you’re looking for a more peaceful space experience, Titans of Space is a guided tour. Latta said that guided experiences are good for beginners. Compatible with DK2.
Here’s a pretty simple one — with Cityscape, the user is in an office looking out at a vaguely Tron-esque city. It’s a good intro to looking up down and behind. It does have a distinctly eerie vibe. Compatible with DK2.
Having a movie theater to yourself is kind of the dream. With Oculus Cinema, you can watch movie trailers, some of which are in 3D, in VR. It’s a little weird to think about until you try it, considering you’re watching a big, wall-sized movie theater screen, that’s really the display on your Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge. It was actually one of the first VR apps I ever tried. The 3D trailer for The Hobbit was, indeed, pretty cool. Plus, it gives you a sense of the limitlessness of “physical” space in VR. Latta said it’s a great way to pass time on a flight. Compatible with GearVR.
Another safe bet for first-timers is a 3D photos. For one, you can find them through Samsung’s Milk VR app. Whether it’s a beach or the Louvre, this is another way to introduce someone to the basics of being able to look all around.
This app from Jaunt VR puts the viewers on stage with Paul McCartney during a performance of “Live and Let Die.” Perspective shifts to a few spots, like from just over his piano to a bit in front and to the side of the stage. It’s available through the Google Play store, and works with a 5 or 6 inch phone (and either GearVR or Google Cardboard.)
Milk VR is Samsung’s VR Content platform. You can find a bunch of different experiences there, including performances from South by Southwest and episodes of web series MY 360.
VRSE - Evolution of Verse
Another recommendation from Whiting — VRSE has multiple videos, including one from Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary. This one is called Evolution of Verse. “It’s an incredible short narrative where you’re standing in the middle of a lake while a timelapse sunrise takes place around you, a train passes by, and then some unexpected stuff happens,” he said.