I felt like I became a superhuman with the Google Earth VR

In Google Earth VR’s virtual world, I jumped through the stratosphere to see the beautiful earth from the space, then flew down to Tokyo.

Two days ago, right after Google Earth VR came out, I experienced it at Upload VR, where our office in San Francisco is located at (Thank you Sacha for helping me out to this virtual world!). It blew my mind and I felt like I became a superhuman.

As you may know, Upload VR is the top incubator and a coworking space in San Francisco where great startups are creating this new virtual world experiences, with the engaging support of mentors, like Fred Davis, Robert Scoble, Azad Balabanian and, of course, our Sacha Tueni.

It started with a quick welcome tour traveling from Yosemite to Tokyo to Firenze to the space. It was just beautiful as you may know with a beautiful Google Earth sceneries in the huge 360 degree screen in a head mount display. After the end of the quick welcome tour, I started to play around with it moving my position, turning around and zooming up and down. I was just doing the same things as I can do on my MacBook Pro.

And after a while, when I got used to move smoothly, I suddenly recognized that I am kind of free from many things that are limiting myself as a human being.

Google Earth VR — Bringing the whole wide world to virtual reality. Source: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCrkZOx5Q1M>

I first jumped to the sky from the place I was located at in San Francisco, then point other location and flew toward there in a really fast speed. Then, I jumped again, but this time through the stratosphere to see the beautiful earth from the space, then flew down to Tokyo and saw the balcony of my house in Daikanyama. Then I flew up the Mount Fuji over the Azami Line Route halfway up to the Fifth Station, which route I was taking every weekend before for my cycling training. This was a kind of experience that was indescribable with words.

Az was using this to fly to their childhood homes, cities, and countries of the Upload team without buying a ticket to fly there yesterday.


In this physical 4 dimensional (4D) world, we are limited by spacial (3D) and temporal (1D) constraints. We can move to anther location using our legs and the speed of our running is our limit to move horizontally in a spacial constraint of 2D, longitude and latitude. We can jump up using our legs and the height of our jumping is our limit to move vertically in a spatial constraint of 1 more D out of 3D of it, altitude. We can live our lives now but can’t jump to the future and even back to the past, and this only-forward-going time is our limit to move in a temporal constraint of the last 1D.

The challenge to free us from this limitations are our continuous and endless efforts in science and technology, where we try to augment and alternate these human abilities. Cars and bicycles augment our ability to move horizontally. Helicopters and buildings augments our ability to move vertically. Airplanes are shortening time to move to another location and we can say it is augmenting temporal ability. But if the speed is too fast to move in a car, the augmented ability is, on the other hand, beyond another ability of protecting us from accident that takes your life away. That’s another discussion we should consider that is about augmenting ability of human being versus our corresponding ability to protect ourselves, by the way. We can survive even if we fell down when we were running, but could not if we had accidents in the car nor on the airplane.

I think this Google Earth VR shows us how we can augment our ability by freeing from 4D limitations, at the same time, from another aspect of limitation that is the corresponding and essential ability of ours to protect our lives.


I can see the future where VR is more like AR, that said, virtual world provides more experience like that in real world, and is more connected and associated with the real world. I expect technologies or products that embeds real views that is broadcasted from the real worl as parts of the scenes in the VR are real views, or you can communicate with the people outside the cyber space just like you are being talked by the architect of Matrix, this is what we, ChatCenter iO is working on at Upload VR (ChatCenter iO SDK for Augmented Communication is to be launched shortly. You can signup for early access from here).

We, especially boys, still have longings for becoming a Superman. That’s the reason why we like Marvel's superheros even after we are grown up. We, scientists, entrepreneurs, designers and engineers have dreams of making this future or imaginary things happen, but I feel more confident that we can in the near future, or pretty shortly, with concrete solutions or products that you can “consume.” Of course we still need a tremendous time to time-travel as Hiro Nakamura of NBC’s TV Show Heroes, but even before that we will make something happen. You can count on us. :)


P.S. Disclaimer: Hiro, aka Masi Oka, is our angel investor who has been engaging and helping us so much. I finally felt like I knew a little bit more about how he felt as a superhuman when he saved the world. ;)


ChatCenter iO is hiring exceptional, talented, visionary and most importantly, nice-to-work-with engineers, designers and data scientists who can create the best technology and product for augmenting communication in San Francisco and Tokyo. Please contact us at <hello at chatcenter.io>.