YouTube introduces VR180, immersive VR video on a budget

23 June 2017

YouTube has announced a new format for VR videos called VR180 made in collaboration with Google’s Daydream team. This has been designed to make it easy for content creators to create immersive 3D and VR experiences.

Unlike 360 degree video, VR180 only has 180 degree field of view. Users can wear VR glasses to look around while facing forward but you can’t look back for additional field of view, which for most purposes wound’t be a problem. If you wear VR glasses, you can also experience the video n 3D. If you choose not to wear glasses, the VR180 video appears just like a regular 2D video.

VR180 works with Google Cardboard, Daydream, Gear VR and PSVR. It also supports live streaming.

For content creators, there wouldn’t be need for any special equipment or editing tools for making VR180 videos. However, YouTube is working with camera manufacturers like YI, Lenovo, and LG for special VR180 cameras that make best use of the format and are also cheaper than 360 degree cameras.

Right now Google has a playlist of VR180 videos. These will look like regular videos on desktop or mobile without VR glasses but to get the most out of it you will need some sort of VR headset.

On desktop, however, these videos are currently only compatible in browsers that have support for Google’s VP9 codec, which means they don’t look right in Safari or Edge and you will have to use Chrome, Firefox or Opera.

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