Queen guitarist Brian May releases virtual reality viewer

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality

OWL VR Viewer by Brian May's London Stereoscopic Company Copyright London Stereoscopic Company
OWL VR Viewer by Brian May's London Stereoscopic Company. Image: Copyright London Stereoscopic Company

Queen guitarist Brian May is an enthusiast for stereo imagery, the Victorian-era 3D craze for viewing photos through a stereoscope in order to be awed by the illusion of depth in static images. May's put his money where his eyes are, operating the London Stereoscopic Company to promote the technology.

Now the shaggy-haired one has taken a step into virtual reality, adapting the Company's OWL viewer to hold smartphones.

As the video below shows, May's OWL Virtual Reality Kit looks an awful lot like a Google Cardboard, but done in plastic with better handles and without even a hint of a head strap. The device is claimed to work with any brand and model of smartphone, but behaves especially well when paired with an iPhone 6 Plus.

Youtube Video

At £25 plus £7 for delivery, this is a rather pricey piece of kit. Which may not deter admirers of either May or the growing library of 360° Videos to be found on YouTube. For those of us who don't seek out such content, Google Cardboard viewers are now regularly popping up as trade show freebies.

For what it is worth, your correspondent recently used a branded Cardboard to watch Bill Gates chat with Neal Stephenson to discuss his latest novel, Seveneves. The experience left me feeling decidedly odd for an hour or two and wishing I had a virtual nose. The video features Gates and Stephenson driving around Seattle, grabbing a burger and indulging in very light banter in a style reminiscent of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. ®


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