YouTube has been working hard on a new format for VR videos which it calls VR180. It has been made in collaboration with Google’s Project Daydream team with the aim of making it easier for content creators to generate 3D and VR experiences. As the name implies VR180 provides only an 180° Field of View (FoV) compared to traditional VR which has a 360° FoV.
Since the new format only offers an 180° FoV, users are limited to a forward facing view only unlike traditional VR in which users can turn their heads all the way around. If you wear VR glasses the content can also be experienced in 3D and if one does not have/wear VR gear the VR180 defaults to functioning like a regular 2D video.
Google is collaborating with camera manufacturers like Yi, Lenovo and LG to come up with a line of products that are optimised for the format and will cost lesser than traditional 360° VR cameras. This is even as the company maintains that content creators are not required to have any special equipment or editing tools to create VR180 content.
To show the potential of the format, Google has created a playlist of VR180 videos which can be viewed like regular video content on desktop or mobile sans VR glasses/headsets too. The only catch right now is that the videos can only run on certain compatible browsers which have support for Google’s VP9 codec, which limits you to view the content on Google’s Chrome browser, Mozilla’s Firefox or Opera.
Currently, VR180 content can be enjoyed on Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, Samsung’s Gear VR and SONY’s PSVR. The format is also capable of being live streamed. You can follow the latest about the VR180 format, here.
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