Is 2017 a breakout year for virtual reality? You don't even need a headset to see it's happening. Today on Tech Tuesday, we're taking a look at a website that makes armchair travel videos a breeze to binge.
Virtual reality is increasingly everywhere we look — on our Facebook feeds, at trade shows like LE Miami and The New York Times Travel Show, and even at the Oscars, with last week's nomination of Google's animated short Pearl, the first VR headset-compatible film to receive such a distinction.
There are hundreds of thousands of 360-degree travel videos on YouTube. Nomad List does a good job of narrowing down the options. The website, which lists the best places worldwide to work remotely, also has an extensive library of VR videos organized by destination. There are videos from Honolulu to Hanoi underwritten by industry brands, tourism boards, and the occasional excited traveler with a flashy, new 360-degree camera. There are lots of narrated walking tours, breezy motorcycle rides, panoramas, and more than a few questionable soundtracks.
Again, these are not the kind of videos that bring home awards, but they're great for getting a taste of a place before visiting in person, and for exploring new spots that you may have never considered (or even known about) before.
HOW TO WATCH
You can watch 360-degree videos on your computer using the latest version of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, and on your phone using the YouTube app. For the full virtual reality experience, get a headset. Try Google Cardboard.