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Virtual Reality in Jackson Hole? It's already here...

(Jackson, Wyo.) - At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, virtual reality was all the rage. While it may seem like something we will have in the distant future, it's already here, and it's already here in Jackson Hole. Local resident Ray Espinoza founded the company Rebranding360 several years ago, which provides virtual tours for businesses. Since then, his company has sold to Google. Using Espinoza's technology, when you search for a business on Google Earth or Google Street View, you can also see inside. Last week, Google converted this virtual tour to a virtual reality tour. Using your smartphone, an app called Street View and a $5 virtual reality viewer like Google Cardboard (learn more about these here ), you can do a virtual reality tour of about 40 local businesses. The virtual reality tour allows you to virtually walk around a business, turn your head to look around, up and down, and click one button to move in any direction you wish. You can even test it without the virtual reality viewer by just downloading the app, although it isn't quite as cool... This is a screenshot of the virtual reality tour of inside of the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar: [image: Inline image 1] And here is the virtual reality tour of Cowboy Coffee: [image: Inline image 2] Espinoza is convinced that this type of virtual reality will revolutionize the tourism industry. "The switch was just flipped to make it virtual reality [by Google]," said Espinoza. "I would argue that the switch from 2D virtual tours to 3D virtual reality will create a new renaissance for how we do life -- from tourism, to booking hotels, to restaurant reservations, and more." Although many businesses in Jackson are ready for the virtual reality technology (thanks to Espinoza living here), only about five percent of the world has been photographed to allow for virtual reality. "Jackson is further along than many other cities," said Espinoza. According to Espinoza, Google is working towards making virtual reality available for the masses. *Feature Photo: Pastor Brian Hunter trying out virtual reality with Google Cardboard. h/t Ray Espinoza / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #bootstrapped #news