Where Virtual Reality is concerned, Google has made a name for themselves in the two short years that Cardboard has been around. During this year’s I/O, Google introduced us to Daydream, their reimagining of virtual reality for Android, a whole new platform set to launch this Fall. Cardboard is where it all started however, and thanks to its low, low cost it was easy to deploy en mass, and that’s just what Google did with Expeditions. An initiative of Google’s started a year or so ago now, Expeditions has now helped One Million students to visit places all over the globe. Places that they could otherwise have only dreamed about.
Google Expeditions is an Education platform that leverages all sorts of things that Google has to offer, including Google Earth, Field Trip, Photospheres and a whole lot more. The idea behind it is to help whole classrooms of students explore new areas that would otherwise be impossible to reach conventionally. For this, Cardboard has been perfect, as its so cheap to offer up to classrooms everywhere, that along with an inexpensive Nexus 5, schools can be provided whole kits on the cheap. Not only that, but without any wires or anything like that, classes are free to walk around and explore without being tethered. At the beginning of this year, Google said they had reached the 500,000 trip milestone, and now they’re at a million. That was back in January, so this is quite a jump for such a niche and emerging technology as virtual reality is right now.
For Google, virtual reality is not just about gaming, and Expeditions has been a great example of this. Helping to open up the next generation’s eyes not only to the wider world, but also a technology that is to be everywhere in the future, Expeditions can help inspire kids to explore their minds. In the below video highlighting the million milestone, a young boy is super-interested in architecture, and through Cardboard got to experience the true scale of some of his favorite buildings. This is the sort of power that VR has for the next generation, and it’s nice to see that Google is opening such a door.