Have you ever seen a painting so vivid and mesmeric you wanted to step through the frame into it? Virtual Reality (VR) opens a doorway to a work of art you can explore from within.
In a world under lockdown, many have already seized the opportunity to realise the possibilities of virtual reality in entertainment, tourism, marketing and design. There are new hurdles to overcome for all of these areas when people feel confined to the boundaries of their homes.
But those who have experienced VR may recognise that familiar sense of expanse when space seems to stretch beyond the confines of the room through their mind. Here are some of the ways VR is emerging as a powerful force you can experience for yourself. All you have to do is step through the frame.
Museums and Art Galleries
As devastating as it is to see the world’s largest galleries and museums close their doors to the public, that doesn’t mean you can’t become absorbed in some of the most phenomenal collections of art in the world.
Thanks to virtual tours, some of the most famous pieces of art in the world are only a click away.
You can now explore Egyptian antiquities all the way to the Galerie d’Apollon in The Louvre’s virtual tours, or wonder at masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.
Get lost in time with the British Museum’s expansive collection of artefacts, including the Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery or mesmerising textiles in the Sainsbury African Galleries.
You can see Van Gogh’s famous works up close, including his iconic self-portrait, or gaze at 86 of Monet’s impressionist paintings such as incandescent The Water Lilies, as you explore the galleries of the Musée D’Orsay.
While international tourism might be taken off the books for the foreseeable future, you can bring the outside world into your living room. Virtual escapism transforms any internet connection into an airport runway, transporting you to some of the most hypnotically captivating landscapes on earth.
Take a guided tour through New York City’s Central Park as you learn of its history, or embark on a virtual archaeological tour of the Grand Canyon. You can gaze at the stunning views of Yosemite Falls and the goliath Half Dome from the valley ground, or view the stunning vistas, viridian forestry and Elysiumlike horizons from the High Sierra 8000 feet above.
Looking for something a bit more adventurous today? Why not try climbing a mountain? Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park offers you the chance to scale 13,770-ft summit on a virtual e-Climb. You won’t be huffing and puffing but you will be left breathless. When Wunderlust hits you, experience captivating 360˚ views of the Artic Wilderness in Lights over Lapland’s Arctic experiences. Get acquainted with the local huskies and reindeer, take the reins by dogsledding and reindeer sledding, and even behold the kaleidoscopic beauty of the Northern Lights on an Aurora Hunt.
One of the biggest transitions for many people in lockdown is losing the excitement and hyperkinetic motion blur of nightlife in the city. Lots of DJs are doing livestreams and musicians like John Legend, Miley Cyrus and Coldplay’s Chris Martin are performing from their homes, but while these intimate settings offer a semblance of live music, the can’t capture the ambience and atmosphere of a live event or nightclub.
But now you can bring the party into your home. With livestreams like the Stay at Home Sessions emerging, you can re-stream some of 2019’s more earth-shaking DJ sets from the Baleric open-air club, Ushuaïa Ibiza. You can even invite your friends to enjoy shows featuring Solardo, Davide Squillace, Camelphat, Nic Fanciulli and Andrea Oliva.
There’s been industry buzz around the emergence of VR gigs ever since Coldplay and NextVR released the Sky Full of Stars virtual reality concert in 2014. The amalgamation of virtual reality and livestreaming technology revolutionises the online music viewing with immersive and compelling performances. It isn’t just within reach. It’s virtually reality.