Watch YouTube Videos In 360 Degrees – It’s Freaking Awesome

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YouTube (World No. 2 Search Engine) has announced that it is now supporting 360-degree video uploads. Some of the cameras that are compatible with YouTube’s 360-degree video uploads include Bublcam, 360cam by Giroptic, Allie by IC Real Tech, the SP360 by Kodak and the RICOH THETA. This means that viewers can watch videos in any direction for a different perspective instead of just where the camera is facing. The 360-degree cameras have a price range of about $300-$1,000.

So, Immersive video is now accessible to just about anyone, both on the creator and audience side. Google just turned on 360-degree video uploads for YouTube creators, letting anyone who can film the immersive footage using something like the Bublcam or Ricoh Theta the ability to put their creations on YouTube, where they can be viewed in the YouTube for Android app or in Chrome (with iPhone and iPad support coming soon). The best way to watch these is probably with Cardboard or something equivalent for now, but with the rapid growth of OEM interest in virtual reality and other immersive viewing headsets, this YouTube update paves the way for a future in which we watch from inside the online movie.


Watch YouTube Videos in 360 Degree Mode

 

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The process is a little clunky at the moment, with a requirement that you run a Python script to ensure the correct metadata is applied to your video file to get YouTube to recognize the upload as a 360-degree clip, but YouTube says it’s working on automating that part of the process so that likely won’t apply for long.

We’ve seen some interesting applications of immersive video already, including offering a vantage point of live concerts from on stage, as well as putting you in the middle of news events for journalistic reports. YouTube making this available to everyone through its omnipresent platform means it’s becoming far easier to get your hands dirty and try things out before immersive video becomes widespread – more commonly available and affordable recording hardware should help that along, but if VR truly becomes mainstream, 360 camera accessories for things like your smartphone won’t be far behind.

If you are near the YouTube Space L.A. studio on Bluff Creek Drive in Los Angeles, the Creator Tech team is letting people try out the 360-degree cameras and put together those types of videos with help from the staff between now through April. When you are ready to upload 360-degree videos on YouTube, you can find technical information on Github with a Python script to insert the correct video metadata. YouTube plans to make the process of uploading 360-degree videos automatic, but that script will be required in the meantime.

 

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