School field trips just got a whole lot easier and a whole lot more amazing. At Google’s I/O 2015 developers conference, it unveiled “Expeditions” a program that uses virtual reality — and the budget-friendly Cardboard headset — to take students to historic places around the world.
The educational tool, due out in the fall, will enable teachers to lead their students on trips to virtuallly anywhere. Using a tablet, they can send 3D 360-degree panoramas of the various locations to their students wearing the Cardboard viewer. The sytem allows the teachers to pause the experiences at any time so they can elaborate of points of interest.
The Expeditions pilot kit comes with all necessary hardware to fully immerse students in the VR trips: a tablet for the guide, Cardboard viewers for each student and speaker to heighten the experience with ambient sound. For schools with less-than-ideal internet service, the kit also comes with a router to allow Expeditions to work over its own local Wi-Fi network to prevent buffering, lengthy loading times and dropped connections.
To enrich the Expeditions content Google also teamed up with its Cultural Institute partners such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Planetary Society, David Attenborough with production company Alchemy VR to create custom educational content.