Outings Looks Like Microsoft’s Answer To Google Earth VR For MR

by Jamie Feltham • April 10th, 2019

Microsoft just launched a brand new app for its Windows VR and HoloLens headsets, but you’d be forgiven for missing it.

Outings was released quietly onto the Microsoft Store yesterday. It’s a new take on Microsoft Garage’s mobile app of the same name, released in conjunction with a new software development kit (SDK). A quick glance invites comparisons to Google Earth VR. The app visualizes certain locations as 3D assets and allows you to explore them. You can, apparently, soar across the globe like in Earth, though this time it’s presented as a 3D tabletop. Maybe that’s to appease flat earthers?

Outings comes equipped with detailed information about landmarks and areas of its chosen cities. Those include New York, Seattle, Boston and Vancouver. We don’t know if its library of content is as expansive as Google Earth, though.

More importantly, Outings is meant to showcase what can be done with the new Maps SDK. This allows you to pull data gathered from Bing Maps straight into Unity apps. It’d be perfect for, say, building a weather app with 3D visualization on HoloLens, or perhaps letting someone with a VR headset explore downtown Seattle.

Unfortunately, as Outings is only on the Microsoft Store, you won’t be able to see this with a Rift or Vive. Other Microsoft-made apps like Halo: Recruit are yet to surface on the likes of SteamVR, so we wouldn’t hold your breath for this either. If you do have a headset, you can pick it up for free. It’s definitely something we’d like to try with HoloLens 2.

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