Last week, Google announced it had developed a new VR video format in partnership with the Daydream team. It is called VR180, and it lets creators show viewers “the world as they see it” in immersive 180 degrees experiences.
The format was merely introduced, but Google promises it will soon become mainstream enough for video editing platforms like Adobe Premiere Pro to support it. These videos will also be friendly to users watching in mobile and can be viewed in regular 2D.
The tech giant also announced it was working on VR180-ready cameras with Lenovo, LG, and YI, some of which have also pledged to help Microsoft out in releasing affordable Windows Mixed Reality headsets later this year.
VR180 captures the world as we see it
In essence, VR180 is a condensed VR format that allows people to create and experience videos as they actually see them. Instead of the average 360 degrees, it only uses 180 to capture the true scope humans can see at all times.
Google said videos are the most common way in which people experience virtual reality, so the new format is most likely the result of recent research by YouTube that supports the idea behind VR180.
Recent analyses showed that people who watch 360-degree and VR content on the platform usually focused on what’s right in front of them, paying little to no attention to what’s behind them or out of the familiar 180-degree spectrum our heads allow us to appreciate.
Those facts in combination with the somewhat cumbersome experience of installing and putting on headsets like the HTC Vive leave people even less interested in turning their heads to see what’s going on in other areas unless the VR app or game requires them to do so.
VR180 videos will be compatible with regular desktop and mobile viewing, and people will be able to immerse themselves in VR when putting on a Google Cardboard, Daydream, or PSVR headset according to Google.
The specialized cameras use stereoscopic technology to capture everything in 3D, so that when people switch to VR viewing they can get the same proximity sensation as the ones who recorded the footage: faraway objects will be far, and nearby objects will seem within hand’s reach.
Google said the cameras are not available yet, but those who want to give them a try can reach out to YouTube at one of their Spaces locations. People in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, London, Berlin, Mumbai, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo can record the first-ever footage in VR180 aside from Coachella 2017.