The conventional virtual tour, as deployed throughout All Around Nevada, presents the user-navigable VR tours of the different sites on the screen of a computer or tablet. The user sees this as a narrow segment of their visual environment, and must stare at the screen and interact with it by using a mouse to drive a cursor. On a tablet navigation is accomplished by dragging a finger across the display.
The head-mounted display (HMD) on the other hand, completely dominates the visual field of the user. It therefore isolates them from the distractions of the actual physical environment and encompasses the entire field of view, including the peripheral space, with the virtual-reality visual experience. Navigation is immediate and intuitive; move your head and/or rotate your body to explore the 360° virtual space.
If you have an Oculus Rift, you will be able to access the virtual-reality Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama using a WebXR-compliant browser.
A simple fold-along-the-dotted-line solution is called Google Cardboard. With Google Cardboard, your smartphone becomes the display screen. You can purchase a packaged kit with everything included for around $15.
Once you have assembled your Google Cardboard, before inserting your smartphone, touch the image below to enter the HMD version of the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama virtual tour. Then touch the “Enter VR” button. Then you can place your smartphone into your Google Cardboard and explore the Cyclorama. To navigate within the scene, just turn around in a circle.
If you have your head-mounted display, touch the image to load the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama HMD VR site.
Then touch the HMD-like icon in the toolbar. To navigate, simply turn around in a circle.