CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Eaton is in Clearwater, but thanks to a virtual reality headset and a 360-degree video on YouTube, he’s touring around Rome.
“I’m in the city streets, Navona Square. It’s cycling through all these different major monuments and it’s quite literally like I am there. I get a pretty detailed look of what this city looks like,” said Eaton.
Surging fuel prices may keep some people at home in the coming months, but if you have a VR headset at home, or go to places like SimCenter Tampa Bay, the world can still be yours.
“If you want to be on the top of Mount Everest you can. If you want to be in Machu Picchu, you can. If you want to be in Paris, you can,” said Sim Center owner Peter Repak.
A new report from the National Research Group found only 13 percent of US households have some type of VR headset.
Between COVID and inflation, experts say they might be worth the investment.
“There’s clearly a lot of consumer interest in virtual reality at the moment, especially since the start of the pandemic, a lot of people have been looking to virtual reality as a way to explore the world, see other places, other cultures from the safety and comfort of their home,” said Fergus Navaratnam-Blair, research director at the National Research Group.
Right now, Sony and Meta are the two leaders in home VR systems, but Apple is expected to join soon.
At SimCenter you aren’t limited to traveling on Earth. You can even leave the planet too.