Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated experience that lets you view another world. You generally experience VR via a headset that is connected to a smartphone or computer. You can read an introduction to the world of Virtual Reality here. The Ela Area Public Library is excited to be launching a program to let you experience a new world of VR at the Library!
How can you enter the Virtual Reality world at the Library?
Do you have a library-sponsored VR viewer (pictured at the top of the page), a Google Cardboard, or another similar headset of your own? Here's some cool content you can view on your headset:
- Ela Library VR content on YouTube: Our staff members created these videos using a Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera. Once you've watched our videos, we've created a collection of recommended VR videos for you to check out!
To watch a Virtual Reality video on YouTube using your headset, you must first open the YouTube app on your smartphone. Find the video you want to watch (for ours, search for "Ela Library"). Once the video begins, tap the icon of a headset in the lower right corner and then slip the phone into the headset:
Please note: not all phones have the ability to show videos in VR mode. If your phone does not have this capability, the headset icon will not appear.
- YouTube 360: Ready to branch out past Library-created and recommended videos? YouTube has a 360-degree video channel with thousands of videos to watch in Virtual Reality.
- Google Street View: Via the Google Street View app, you can see 360-degree pictures taken locally and all over the world.
- Discovery VR: The Discovery Channel's VR app includes a variety of 360 video experiences from some of their most popular shows and more.
- NYT VR: From the New York Times, this app lets you watch Virtual Reality films on news and educational topics.
- Apps for Google Cardboard: Apps recommended by Google for the Cardboard or similar viewers.
The Ela Library offers Samsung Gear VR Headsets for use by Ela Cardholders age 12 and up in our Digital Media Labs! The headsets contain a variety of virtual reality videos (including our own library videos), apps, and experiences. For a list of currently available apps, click here.
To use a Samsung Gear VR Headset, you must first become certified by a librarian. Certification will give you an overview of the equipment, controls, and safety considerations. To request a certification appointment, click here.
If you've tried the Gear VR Headset and want to suggest a cool app, please let us know by filling out the form here.
If you want to learn even more about the Samsung Gear VR Headset, you can see the full product manual here.
We are launching "Enter the Virtual World" classes, which will provide an introduction to VR technology and take you on a guided virtual experience. Click to sign up today:
Also, this winter (early 2018), we will be hosting drop-in events where you can meet and try out our VR equipment. Watch this space for updates!