Who hasn’t dreamed of being instantly transported to some exotic, sandy beach? Water gently lapping around your feet and the hot sun warming your skin.
This common fantasy may soon be a reality. While the state of virtual reality technology hasn’t yet reached the fully immersive quality of actually being on a beach it is rapidly getting closer.
There is no shortage of VR beach experiences already aiming to simulate what it is like to be there. 360 degree videos provide a relatively low cost way for travel companies & promoters to showcase their locations. This allow viewers to enjoy the sights & sounds (if not the warmth) of these exotic beaches from the comfort of their own home.
There is also a number of even more immersive virtual reality beach experiences which can bring you even closer to what it actually feels like to be on a beach.
The travel industry has already seized on the opportunity that 360 / VR offers for showing off travel destinations to potential travellers. What better why to entice someone with a beach holiday, than to actually transport them for a few moments to that location?
In the future as VR improves, these experiences could be more than just a taster. When the experience of visiting a beach in VR is just as good as being there in person, it will open a whole new segment of travel, which will redefine the idea of “budget travel.”
That isn’t the only potential use of VR beach experiences though. Beach VR experiences also offer potential therapeutic benefits. Even just thinking of sitting on some sandy, sunny beach is enough to create a feeling of relaxation. Virtual reality offers the next step in that equation giving people a much closer experience of what it is like to be at a a beach. For your stressed out office worker, the ability to be able to chill on some island paradise for a few minutes, could be very beneficial.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the top beach 360 degree and VR beach experiences that are currently available.
Lanikai Beach Hawaii 360
The name Lanikai means “heavenly sea”. What better place then for a beach virtual reality experience? Located on the windward side of Oahu, Hawaii on a half mile strip it is rated as one of the best beaches in the world. This 360 degree video was shot on a quiet winter morning using two Kodak SP360 cameras then stitched together with Autopano Video Pro.
Playa de Carmen, Mexico 360
Playa de Carmen is a favorite travel destination in Mexico. Filmed in 4K this virtual reality experience enables you to relax in comfort without the cost of an expensive plane ticket.
Whitehaven Beach, Australia 360
Whitehaven beach is located right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. As part of the protected Whitsundday Islands National Park it is rated one of the world’s best eco-friendly and cleanest beaches. Typically visiting Whitehaven Beach would require a long haul plane flight to Australia followed by a thirty minute trip on a high speed catamaran, but in this 360 degree experience you can be there in moments.
Clayton’s Beach Bar 360
In a state renowed for doing things bigger, Clayton’s stands out as the biggest beach bar in Texas. Located on South Padre Island the beach bar is host to big concerts and equally other big events. See if for yourself in 360 degrees.
Hamoa Beach 360
Hamoa beach sits at the end of the road to Hana on the island of Maui. The world famous beaches of Hawaii are perfect for creating a relaxing VR experience. Enjoy them yourself with this 360 degree video from 360 Labs.
Perfect Beach is a VR experience designed for Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. The VR experience offers several different relaxation options including the guided mediation, relaxation music or the ability to import your own meditation or music.
Dream Beach 2
Atmosphaeres offers a ranging of nature and wellness VR experiences. Among the best of these is their dream beach VR experience. The experiences have been created based on scientific research on stress, pain and anxiety therapy. These experiences are also shot on highly quality camera equipment differentiating them from many other 360 degree beach experiences.Dream beach is comparitbale with both Samsung Gerar VR, oculus Rift and HTC Vive.