The Oculus Rift isn’t just limited to gaming, even if this is often billed for gaming and entertainment. The Rift could become an essential way we teach students about the earth, the human body, or about history. It’s able to stop us from looking at it from the outside, and instead getting to jump into the worlds and times we never thought we’d see.
The Oculus Rift can transport you under the sea, inside a human body, or to a remote part of the Amazon Jungle. The selection of apps and experiences is daunting and overwhelming, making it difficult to know where to begin. In this feature, we’re going to describe the best apps and experiences on the Oculus Rift now!
The Body VR
We’ve traditionally taught classes through textbooks and lectures, but Body VR takes a different approach in VR. The app replaces the classroom with a journey through the human body. The educational experience explains how red blood cells work, how the heart pumps, and how millions of cells and body parts work together to keep us alive.
The immersive app is something anyone of any age can get behind, and get excited about. The incredible graphics let you see parts of us we’ve never imagine seeing, and in a way that won’t make your scrim. Overall the experience feels like you’re getting shrunk down, and taking a trip on the Magic School Bus.
Altspace VR is essentially an alternative where you can socialize which others who are as excited about VR as you are. There are hundreds of things to do in the VR world from playing Dungeon and Dragons to hosting meetups. The idea of playing in a virtual realm isn’t new – We’ve had Sims, Miiverse, and other worlds where we played out as a virtual self. Altspace is similar in the idea, except we aren’t building houses and planning our cities. Instead, we’re socializing and trying to connect with VR friends that enjoy the same things we are doing.
The app isn’t limited to platforms either. Altspace VR is available on the Rift, Vive, Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and PC. This allows anyone to attend a meetup within the virtual world or watch YouTube videos together. The idea is fantastic because you’ll make new friends in VR who can play multiplayer games on the Rift with you.
Sketchfab is a community where the artist, creators, and others can contribute 3D models, animations, and other 3D scenes and objects. There are thousands of models from 3D replicas of Vincit Vangues room to 3D characters from games or movies. While you can view the 3D models in the browsers, seeing them in a VR headsets makes them feel real.
In a VR headset, the models appear in front of you so you can move around and look at them like they’re actually in front of you. The app is one of the best experiences around for 3D models and doesn’t to fail to impress. The success of the app is in part to the amazing community of users who submit amazing 3D models.
Discover VR is an app from The Discovery Channel. Yes, the same ones who do shark week, deadliest catch and other amazing outdoor and nature related shows. They’re creating VR videos from Shark Week, Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, and other shows. The videos transport you into worlds you could never imagine, and they’re doing it with some of the shows you have come to love.
While the app is at the most basic level a video player, these high-quality videos aren’t anywhere else. They’re giving you access to behind the scenes when they’re shooting some of their most dangerous and beloved TV shows. I was able to see all around the boats on Deadliest catch and got a chance to see dozens of different angles of an experiment on Mythbusters.
The Ocean Rift experience takes you deep under the sea where you’ll see sharks, whales, and other ocean wildlife. It has wildlife habits that are soothing yet wondrous to look at. The sounds you hear are only your breathing and the bubbles of air floating to the surface. You’re able to swim or, if you rather, only sink to the bottom. While it isn’t an interactive experience, getting to see the oceans like never before is amazing in it’s own.
The app works with the touch controller, but you can also use a gamepad if you prefer that. For the price the apps a great deal, considering how realistic your surroundings look. The world’s first underwater safari theme park is one of the best VR apps on the Rift.
Those are just some of the unique educational and social experiences to be had in VR. There’s also plenty of VR videos, VR pornography, and so much more. Bottom-line, if you think VR is just about gaming — you’re sorely mistaken. Any other great apps we didn’t mention? Let us know about them in the comments.