Allow me to sum up Vrse for you: “Coolest storytelling app ever!” Virtual reality headsets are slowly becoming the next “it” thing to own. However, most of the headsets out there have a price range of $100-$150 dollars. Vrse is probably the cheapest way to experience Virtual Reality without having to spend big bucks on a headset. Vrse is meant to be used with a headset, but Google Cardboard, a cheap ($17) alternative available on Amazon will do just the trick.
So, What is Vrse?
Vrse features 360-degree views of different events filmed around the world. The New York Times published a film on Vrse titled “Walking New York”. Walking New York showcases how immigrants walk amongst the 8 million people in New York City, yet feel like no one notices them. French artist JR photographed Elmar Aliyev, a 20-year-old Azerbaijan immigrant that felt the “depths” of New York City. JR decided to photograph Elmar walking down the street and created a massive laminate that ended up in front of the Flatiron Building. The really cool part is the way the story is portrayed through Vrse. At one point, JR goes on a helicopter ride over the city in order to take a photo of his artwork (picture on the right). Users are able to get amazing aerial views of the city using Vrse. The whole concept of the story is to show the behind the scenes of the project along with the meaning of immigration in New York City. Users can tilt and turn their iPhone or iPad in order to view the whole panorama of the shooting in action. No headset is needed to experience the 360 views, but it is recommended to get the full experience.
Other stories include Jerry Seinfeld’s SNL40 Q&A, a partnership with TOMS showcasing their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair campaign in action, and the displacement of children due to War to name a few.
Vrse is available as a free download for both, iOS and Android devices. If you decide to purchase the cardboard headset, Google offers it Google Cardboard app on both Apple and Android App stores allowing you to play with your brand new headset. For those of you who want to try it out online, the New York Times offers the war displacement story on their website.
Here are some app screenshots: