Virtual reality is largely hailed as one of the next major consumer tech frontiers, however the technology is still in its infancy and most of us do not have access to 360-degree cameras. We do, however, have our phones, and in its continuing effort to bring virtual reality to everyone who has a smartphone, Google has released an app that takes advantage of our phone’s camera to capture 360-degree photos.
The app is called Sprayscape and it comes from Google’s Android Experiments program. To use it, you basically take pictures of your surroundings and the app uses the phone’s gyroscope to determine where in space the picture is. On top of taking a picture, or “spraying” it, you can also hold down to expand the area of the picture being taken. Then, move your camera and take another picture to complete the collage.
The results are some pretty trippy images, but that is something that Google is embracing. No, you are not going to get crystal-clear virtual reality content, but the trade-off is that instead of using a fancy stitching algorithm, the app is able to work super fast.
“We love virtual reality (VR). And we love taking pictures,” Google Creative Lab Senior Designer Glenn Cochon wrote in a blog post. “So why not try smashing the two together?”
When you are finished taking the photos, you can wave your phone around to re-explore the dream-like photos you took. You can also share the images in a text or on social media, and when you do your friends will be able to jump into the images you created.
You can get Sprayscape from the Google Play Store and according to a report from The Next Web, the app will be coming to iOS “soon.”