Thank you for your patience

Hey all. Thank you for coming to our humble abode. It seems we have been spending more time in the studio and less time here. So, we do want to thank you for your patience as we are working on a facelift in between studio sessions (and video production). Thank you so much, Michael & Deborah Anderson

Not all Virtual Reality gear is built the same. But, by the same token, not all VR gear is priced the same, either. And, this gear provides different levels of experience.

At the higher end of the spectrum, is something that is more of a three-dimensional (3D) or movie experience. This is the virtual reality that legends are made of and what is typically in the minds and dreams of children and adults alike.

That form of virtual reality is the type that allows you to see a computer-generated alternative world, hear that virtual world, and actually move around and experience that world or reality.

It is the stuff of science fiction and more reminiscent of the Star Trek holodecks. While you are confined to a smaller space than a holodeck, you can still move around with it. You can still experience what you are seeing in your Movie Game Box.

Understanding the Options and the Differences

The virtual reality world has different terms. It depends on the vendor. Much of that depends on the vendor who is developing the gear. And, of course, as each new device emerges on the market, there is another competitor vying for that winning spot and moving forward to improve on it, gaining the market hold in that VR arena… at least for a time.

Vendors come and go, as we have seen over the past years, especially on the internet. However, there are some major players in the virtual reality world. They are likely to stick around, for a while, at least. At the same time, there are some smaller companies coming on board that may offer better (or more affordable) pricing for the little guy. If your investment is lower, take a chance. A lesser-known vendor is ok. The lower your investment, the more leeway you have for that option.

Understanding the Process

When it comes to VR gear and devices, it is a stair-step when it comes to functionality and pricing. Yes, the 3D experience is more exciting. It is exactly what one would think of when defining virtual reality. That said, you pay for that right and you pay for that experience.

On the other end of the spectrum, you may be paying only $20, but, what is the experience? It may be along the lines of the ViewMasters of the 1970s. In those cases, you looked through two eye holes and saw images that seemed to have a 3D effect. The exception is that they didn’t move and you were not participating in the action. It was simply a cool image.

Then again, back in the 60s, that was cool. We have come a long way since then, in our virtual reality world. We have especially hit those new levels with the three-dimensional and Movie Box experience. So, if you have the money to experience it, go out and experience it. Let us know what it is like to enter into an alternate reality, as they say in science fiction.

Right away when I think about traveling with Virtual Reality (VR) as my traveling partner, I start to think about how to pack the gear, where to put it (i.e. in the overhead bin of an airplane or under the seat in front of me) and the list goes on from there.

You ARE traveling when you participate in virtual reality in some cases. It is a question of WHERE you want to travel to and what you want to experience in your travels. Name the place, choose the gear, choose the level of excitement in your virtual reality experience, and start that experience and fly (no pun intended).

All the VR fun aside, let’s talk about the boring part of this discussion, first, and get it out of the way.

That is, how to pack your VR gear and devices. If you are traveling by airplane or traveling in close quarters with other travelers (i.e. bus or a packed van), you will likely need to be more careful in how the gear is packed, to ensure that it does not get scratched or bounced around so much that it breaks.

Maybe it is a non-issue because you are using your smartphone and the viewer packs easily. In that case, you are all set. But, maybe you are packing a game system or other VR gear and if that is the case, you have some considerations.

Obviously, it is ideal if you can pack your gear in its original packaging, but that is assuming that you still have the original packaging and that that same packaging isn’t just a bunch of plastic that you have to cut through with a hunting knife. It is opportune to use the original carrying case if you have it. The only other thing to consider is the size of that carrying case and whether it will fit or how it will fit in your particular traveling situation.

Other Options

If your gear did not come with a carry case, you can find something that will work. Popular places include You make it work even if it is not the original carry case. For example, use that foam stuff that you cut to shape. You could also use that bubble wrap stuff, or any combination of packing material that will protect your gear.

Also, keep in mind that your gear is likely taking up very little space! I saved that point for last because it makes life a bit easier. For example, as we mentioned, you may be using your smartphone for your virtual reality experience. If that is the case, it is just a matter of packing your smartphone. And, you are already doing that, right?

Add to that the headset or 3D movie box or anything else you want to add. Again, with something like a carrying case and packaging, and you are all set. Now, choose your favorite virtual reality travel game. Visit anywhere in the world while you are traveling to another place in the world.

You have heard of multitasking, now you are multi-traveling without even leaving your seat. It might look strange, but with the way our culture is rapidly changing, it isn’t. It could be that your neighbors may be doing exactly the same thing as you!

Don’t want to get too technical with virtual reality? Don’t want to spend your entire life’s savings on VR equipment, gadgets, games, and devices?

That’s ok!

While it is still one of the newer aspects of virtual reality (VR), you can actually use your smartphone to get hooked up for your VR experience. Some of the advantages of this include the ability to take it with you anywhere!

It is also a bit easier on the pocketbook and allows you to start your virtual reality experience “yesterday.” Of course, that is assuming that you have done your homework and you have the right stuff.

Next Steps

You need to ensure that your smartphone is capable of virtual reality technology. You also need to ensure that there are not any adapters or special software that is needed in order to bring your smartphone up to speed with the VR generation.

Another thing you should check on is what games are available for virtual reality on your smartphone. If you are not too picky and you just want to play, it is probably easier to find what you are looking for or to settle for what is out there for the VR-on-the-smartphone experience.

Another term for this whole smartphone VR thing is mobile VR. Don’t let the simplicity of the term fool you too much. While the smartphone or mobile VR is really cool, it can also get out of hand (literally and figuratively!) to a point where annoying things happen. For example, maybe you hook up a viewer and external headset to your smartphone (that is normal, right) but then you have trouble catching your calls while you are participating in your VR experience.

Fortunately, in many cases, you can set the phone to interrupt you if a call comes in while you are playing with your VR.

Ensure Your Are Aware Before the Purchase Decision

These are the types of things that you may not be aware of unless you visit some review sites online. Or, maybe you have asked your friends. You will want to identify the pros and cons of the experiences that others are having with mobile VR. Determine whether or if it is for you or not.

But, again, the less picky you are and the less that you require, the better. This means that it is more likely that you can find a happy balance in your mobile VR experience. This helps you to find what you are looking for and enjoy doing it.

The How-To for setting up your mobile VR is pretty straightforward. You can do it as easy as picking up the inexpensive Google Cardboard viewer. You insert your smartphone into its spot in the viewer, and off you go. Those two steps and you are ready, with a very minimal financial investment. Of course, there are the apps, for the VR experience, but we figure you have a handle on that 🙂

Virtual Reality is changing how we view the travel industry.

Whereas we used to have to rely on what our friends, family, and neighbors would share with us when it came to their travels and exploits (and occasional bragging), we are now able to experience it first-hand with VR!

We are able to make an informed decision on what we would like to do, as well as where we would like to visit, all thanks to the science (and art) of virtual reality.

Travel will not look the same, now that we have virtual reality (VR).

We can do several different things.

You have the ability to narrow your selection of vacation hot spots. Then, provide the short list to your family or loved ones. This allows them to experience that short list in virtual reality and help to make that final decision.

Handling Disappointment in a Positive VR Way

You may have a situation where you and your loved ones do not agree on a destination. As a concession, you can experience the virtual reality of the losing party. So, for example, it was a close race and you have decided, as a family, group, or couple, on a particular destination. Instead of pouting that you have missed the other destinations, go enjoy them within your virtual reality application! In fact, visit ten places while you are on your way to the winning destination.

This process also helps you to select the destination that is likely to be the most fun for the in-person experience versus the virtual reality. Maybe a virtual experience in Paris would be delightful because you could enjoy time spent at a cafe without consuming too much of any particular alcoholic beverage. However, you may want to visit a particular city in Germany so that you can purchase a cuckoo clock. You could see the cuckoo clocks in a virtual reality experience. Keep in mind that that doesn’t necessarily mean you can purchase it and bring it home. We haven’t quite arrived at the Star Trek replicator stage…. yet.

What About Google Maps?

Have you ever played with Google Maps? If so, you are experiencing a bit of virtual reality on the web. How fun is it to pretend that you are walking on a street level. Doing that allows you to observe the houses (for potential purchasing options, of course… after all, you are not a stalker).

This is just another example of how the travel industry is changing. It also illustrates how the real estate industry is changing. All with the introduction of virtual reality.

Another great area for travel is the adventure part of the trip. Maybe you are traveling with others who are not as adventurous, but you do not want to miss out on things like skydiving, deep sea diving, parachuting, or even some time at the local amusement park, screaming as you descend while riding the huge roller coaster. With virtual reality (VR), you may be able to experience this while your partner or family enjoy tea at the local tea house. This could be the opposite, with you and the kids enjoying the amusement park while some of your family members enjoy a virtual time at the spa (or a real-time at the spa!).

Think of the possibilities!

As simplified as it may look, there is actually a science to the Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Viewer. It is precise. Without that precision, it wouldn’t work as well as it does.

True, it looks like a box left over from the most recent United Parcel Service delivery or something that your kid has cut up and re-patched together to create a virtual something-or-other based on some sci-fi movie.

Decades ago, that is probably all it was… a cardboard creation meant to stimulate the imagination of children and adults everywhere, to pretend that they were able to experience what they saw on the silver screen.

That is not the case now. It is cardboard, yes, but it (Google Cardboard) has been designed to incorporate the VR components necessary to have a stimulating virtual reality experience.

There are several aspects of the Google Cardboard VR that come together to create the experience.

The Google Cardboard VR Viewer

First, there is the assembly of the viewer. Even though Google has done the hard work, you still need to do the assembly. You need to assemble your cardboard viewer according to the instructions. Fortunately, even if you do not succeed on your first try, you can try again. This is because the Google Cardboard Viewer is extremely affordable, sometimes going as low as four dollars. You could even have a few in the closet, for visitors or backup viewers.

The design of the viewer, similar to other VR viewers, allows for stereoscopic viewing, in other words, 3D viewing. It will house your smartphone. You can choose the iPhone smartphone or the Android smartphone.

Another component of the experience is the software. There are oodles of apps available, again, whether that is the Android or the Apple iOS. Applications can satisfy the entertainment desires of several different genres. This can happen whether it is a game, an event, an adventure, or afternoon tea. Of course, that is something that comes through your smartphone and not the cardboard.

Google Cardboard has been around since 2016. Even though Google Cardboard is not that old, there is a successor that Google announced, called Daydream. It is a fitting name for a VR endeavor.

Thinking Beyond the Norm

Another possibility for those of you who are technically-minded is to develop your own virtual reality programs so that others may access (purchase) your apps for their iPhone or Android and use it with Google Cardboard. The beauty of tying it in with Google Cardboard is that the development costs do not have to cause you to go broke while you are going through the development process. Whether you spend the four bucks for the Google Cardboard or you attempt to develop your own precision-based design, the cost is still lower than the high dollar VR viewers.

Even Google entertains us with snapshots of different types of virtual reality (VR) viewers, including those that are reminiscent of the Mattel ViewMaster of decades past.

The beauty of Google Cardboard is that you can buy it as a kit. That is what we discussed in this article. Or, you can design one yourself (build your own).