YouTube: A Tipping Point for VR?

Yesterday on their official blog, YouTube announced that it now supports VR video: YouTube presses play on virtual reality. They’ve added VR features to their Android app. You’ll need your phone and a Google Cardboard viewer. It would be more accurate to say that YouTube users will have access to increasing numbers of 360 video offerings.

Google Cardboard Viewer

Google Cardboard Viewer

Virtual reality and 360 video are often lumped together now as though the two things were the same. As technology moves forward the two things will almost certainly move closer towards one another. Here are the main differences between Virtual Reality and 360 Video at this point:

Virtual Reality 360 Video
Imagery 3D computer generated environment Video
Mobility Immersive environment the user can move around in While there is a 360 degree view, user is limited to the camera’s position
Timeline There may be a series of events that the user may choose from, or it’s an immersive world to be explored Video progresses in a linear story created by the filmmaker

So, while YouTube hasn’t really moved into virtual reality, they are bringing us another step closer with the immersive 360 video. It is a significant step forward.

360-Degree Virtual Reality Camera System

Los Angeles, CA – USA – August 29, 2015: 360-Degree Virtual Reality Camera System during VRLA Expo, virtual reality exposition, event at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles.

Want to try it out? Here are 13 VR videos

Images from iStockPhoto.

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