Technology is a fantastic way to experience the world around us, and virtual reality technology is a new way to do just that. This week for S.T.E.A.M. Saturday, we introduced the kids to VR for the first time and visited new placed and areas we've never been before.
Verizon Wireless let us borrow the Samsung S9 and the Samsung Gear VR to experience VR for the first time.
One of the coolest aspects of our VR experience was visiting space. The National Geographic show, One Strange Rock, filmed an amazing VR experience from the International Space Station that brought me to tears while I was watching. You get to walk around ISS with the astronauts while they are exercising and talking about the fantastic views of Earth from space. If you ever questioned the beauty of our planet, then take a look at it from space, that may change your mind.
The Samsung Gear VR is powered by Oculus and opens the door to fun gaming experiences and a chance to even face your fears. We took a ride on some Six Flags roller coasters and Ziplines through Hawaii, something my kids aren't tall enough to do just yet.
What we loved most about the VR experience was taking tours of National Parks and Historic Sites in states that we haven't visited yet. JaMonkey decided to check out Alcatraz and learn about its history and I visited the Yellowstone Grand Prismatic Spring. I discovered that there are no handrails around the largest hot spring in the United States, so that trip just jumped to a time when my children are less clumsy.
The education aspect of visiting locations all over the world makes this tech pretty awesome for learning. I just found out that JaMonkey's S.T.E.M. teacher has a set of VR masks that the kids can use at school. The kids have already started asking me if we can get one because they had so much fun exploring. A VR set has definitely made our wishlist! We will have to find one that doesn't require a phone because our phones aren't compatible in any VR systems. The Samsung S9 was great because of the edge to edge screen, it really places you in the experience.
Have you experienced virtual reality yet?