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Want to visit Paris? All you'll need is a phone and some cardboard*

*Google Cardboard, its cheap VR headset, that is.

GOOGLE STREET VIEW allows people to view locations through the comfort of their PC or smartphone, but now there’s another way to immerse yourself in far-off locations.

The latest update to Google Street View app (a separate app to Google Maps) has included support for Google Cardboard, the company’s way of getting virtual reality to people using cheap materials and a smartphone (iOS or Android).

That means that any place that can be visited through Street View can be viewed this way since it uses 360° images (but not in 3D as it doesn’t support that quite yet).

As well as the roadways and streets, there are special panoramic photos of locations that aren’t easily accessible like monuments, tourist attractions and hiking trails.

IMG_0816 TCD as seen through the Google Street View app with Google Cardboard. Source: Google Street View

In its Cardboard app, a Street View demo of Paris was one of the demos included, but while that only brought you through a predetermined path, Street View allows you to move in whatever direction you want.

By clicking the magnet on the side of the headset, you can move forward a few feet and continue looking around.

While that experience is smooth, if you want to move to a completely different area, you will have to remove the phone and select the new location before popping it back into Cardboard again.

IMG_0819 Dingle as seen through the Google Street View app with Google Cardboard.

If you happen to have Google Cardboard, you can access the new feature now but if not, there are ways to make your own if you’re feeling creative (and have a fair bit of free time).

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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