The Secret Door

By Dave

Virtual reality environments have always captured people’s imaginations because it promises a world that is totally detached from what we are used to – the mundane reality that we live with every day. Myst was a game that took advantage of virtual reality environments as a backdrop for its engaging gameplay – and by and large it succeeded. Myst, and its sequel Riven, won’t be the same game without the addition of this crucial element.

With the computing power of PCs and advances in internet speed and programming virtual reality has moved away from being location bound in our hard drives and have entered our browsers(!). But how do we take advantage of available technologies? has thought up of a cool way of using virtual environments and marrying it with already existing technologies. The Secret Door is an innovative way of looking at the world through the use of existing technologies. Visit the website and a beautiful door, that would instantly evoke the wardrobe in the CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, will greet you. Click on it to open the door and it will transport you to a random place on earth. Secret Door utilizes the power of Google Street View to bring you that view of a random place, but what’s cool is that it just doesn’t plunk you down in some random outdoor view of an area. The trip opens up on an indoor location because Secret Door uses the new indoor sections that Google Street View provides. You really get this sense of being transported to a random area, which you can then explore – you can go out to the outdoor areas if you want, which adds to the illusion.

Secret Door does get a little confusing especially if it’s your first time to use it. In my first “trip” I was brought to this place that looked like a library and I could just move around this area with no visible sign of where to go next. All along I thought that was the only thing Secret Door offered and that it was an unfinished project. But when I returned “home” and clicked on the door again that’s when I finally got my bearings so to speak. Also, I couldn’t find information about where I am. I think it would be a cool addition if some information of the area you’re visiting is included.

Secret Door is a fun way of navigating places from all over the world right from the comforts of your home browser. You should check it out.


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