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Google Cardboard VR app puts you onstage with Paul McCartney

Commentary: Get ready to experience "Live and Let Die" in a whole new way. Talk about the ever-changing world in which we're living.


This is the coolest thing I've seen all week. Possibly all month.

Free Google Cardboard app Paul McCartney does more than give you a front-row seat at a live concert; it puts you onstage, right next to Sir Paul's piano.

Google Cardboard is the dirt-cheap virtual reality headset made out of cardboard and your smartphone, introduced by Google earlier this year. Until now, it was limited to a handful of novelty demos: some Google Earth fly-arounds, an art exhibit and various games that felt more like proof-of-concept efforts.

This new app was created by Jaunt, makers of 360-degree camera gear designed especially to capture cinematic VR. And while this concert footage, of McCartney's performance of "Live and Let Die" at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, certainly qualifies as another kind of proof of concept, one thing is certain: concept proven!

It starts off with you "standing" just a few feet away from the legendary former Beatle. After 30 seconds or so, your view shifts to the front row -- actually, in front of the front row, which you discover when you turn around and spy the entire Candlestick Park audience "behind" you.

Although the camera shifts can be a little jarring, it's great to see more than just one view of the show. With headphones on, it lends a you-are-there feel that you simply can't get from watching static 2D (or even 3D) video. Screenshots don't even remotely do it justice, so if you have a Google Cardboard, get it out. Now. (If you don't, here's how to build one. Or you can order one here.)

One curiosity: I tested this with a OnePlus One and second-gen Motorola Moto X , and in both cases the app displayed a message saying the device wasn't compatible, and would therefore "display at a lower resolution." But it worked just fine, and the resolution was about what I expected given the nature of the lenses. If you have a different experience with a different phone (i.e. you don't see that message), share the deets in the comments.

Me, I'm going to sit through the performance again and again, and cross my fingers that I can "attend" more concerts like this in the future. You literally can't buy better seats.