Thanks to a new push by YouTube, 360-video is doing a 180.
Recognizing that VR content is cool but often difficult to watch, YouTube this summer announced it is embracing 180-degree video heavily with the hope of making it more accessible and easier for consumers to create, post and view. This content, rather than viewed by “spinning around” (either your head or your mouse), focuses on one direction with a wide-ranging peripheral view on either side.
As part of the push, YouTube and the Google Daydream VR division are partnering with Lenovo, LG and Yi on VR180 cameras available for mass market use and priced like point-and-shoot cameras to “democratize VR video creation.”
"Our goal with VR180 is to simplify VR video production for all creators — consumers and high-end video producers as well," YouTube's VR product Lead Erin Teague told Mashable.
On top of cameras built to work natively with VR180, Google Daydream is reportedly working with camera makers on a program to help them find ways to retrofit devices in order to hardness 180-content. In addition, YouTube is working with Adobe to allow video editors who use the video editing software Premiere to use “the same editing techniques they're accustomed to with newly created VR180 footage.”
How will this more mainstream immersive content impact events and marketing campaigns?
Better production techniques. With 180-degree video, there’s no need to worry about removing items from the frame that you don’t want to appear, or the inability to make production cuts. And, directors can actually sit “behind the camera” to manage the shoot. Without the “head-spinning” requirement of 360-degree content, there will be fewer “motion sickness” issues, too.
It’s not as cumbersome. If you’re being honest, rarely have you decided to spin your device around on your couch in order to watch your friend’s 360-content on Facebook. And that’s exactly one of the challenges YouTube sought to solve with its embrace of 180. Could it mean your event or branded content is viewed more and for longer periods of time? Perhaps.
More people will embrace it. As Teague described to Mashable, the current 360-degree stereoscopic cameras require specific skills, are expensive and production can be complex. With point-and-shoot 180-degree options, more events, brands and consumers will be able to create compelling event and user-generated content. Which means more, and better, stories for brands to leverage for maximum amplification.