The Death of Virtual Tours
Meta’s Horizon Worlds didn’t really go anywhere. Microsoft recently scuttled AltSpaceVR and cut the hamstrings of HoloLens and even Disney got into the hack and slash game with apparently ditching their whole Metaverse department. Things aren’t looking good in the VR and mixed reality world at the moment. I’m more concerned with what happened a while ago at this point.
Google Tour Creator shut down a while ago (July 2021) at this point. That’s right, probably the most accessible and most distributed VR (or rather 360 video to purists) tool out there was canned. Why? They say because nobody really used it. Is this just another sign of the early death of VR and at a time when we’re all supposed to be escaping even more to it? Oh, and they also shut down Google Poly, it’s 3d object platform to boot.
The thing that’s really depressing about this, isn’t that a multi-gazillion dollar company is sinking a product. No, the issue is that the thing they are sinking was available to everyone without any massive, expensive apparatus on your head. It’s that 360/VR had a chance at becoming a mass market thing. More than anything it really did let you go to other places that you otherwise would have never been able to. The chances of me ever being able to see The Great Wall of China for instance is almost zero. As sad as a 360 tour of such a magnificent place is by comparison, it’s so much more than nothing, which is what the world at large has right now in terms of using our computers to escape.