Only a small percentage of Americans will get to enjoy the full solar eclipse experience later today, but if you’ve got an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive then you can use the power of VR to get the full experience.
Google Earth VR, one of the best apps available on both the Rift and Vive, is offering users the chance to experience the eclipse as it will appear at various point around the US, starting off in Oregon. You’ll be able to witness the much-anticipated event without the need to be on time and without the danger of staring directly into the sun. We gave it a quick look ourselves.
It’s a nice little easter egg for Earth users; you can even point and grab the eclipse to move it along, capturing the exact moment in time the moon blots out the sun, and the minutes leading up to and following it. The earth falls dark and you can look out across the land to see a world covered in shadow in the middle of the day. The eclipse is only going to be properly viewable in 14 states across the US today, so only a tiny number of the total population is going to get to see the real thing. This looks like the next best option.
This is a great way to showcase the power of Google Earth and has us thinking about what other world events we’d like to see it used for. For now, though, we’d just be happy with more locations made available in 3D and, oh, maybe a PlayStation VR port?