Take in the Google Street View scenery with this custom built Gear VR app.
Exercise bikes can be boring. Even with music blaring or a maybe a TV playing your favorite rerun — riding in place on a stationary bike can be a monotonous daily activity.
But not for one developer in Scotland who wanted to spice up his daily exercise bike rides by pairing a Gear VR headset with Google Street View imagery data for one unique ride up the length of Britain.
Aaron Puzey has been documenting his virtual bike travels on his blog, Cycle VR, sharing video highlights of every 100 kilometers he rides. At the pace he is currently traveling up the length of Britain, from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland, he thinks he’ll be finished in around 50 days.
The app Puzey custom built for Samsung’s Gear VR headset displays Street view imagery in VR. A Bluetooth cadence sensor tracks how fast he’s pedaling and lets the app know when to move to the next panorama scene. So as Puzey pedals, a new scene updates in the headset, giving him the impression he’s traveling.
The VR bike ride journey that started in May is in no way perfect, as you can tell by some images not having enough depth information and taking on trippy forms. But all in all, the experiment works surprisingly well, with Google Street View data working showing best with tall buildings that appear to tower over Puzey as he rides down the street.
Although VR bike rides are no substitute for the real thing outdoors, this is definitely a step in the right direction from Newman Chan’s trike ride with his daughter.
Image Credit: Cycle VR