YouTube launches VR180 video format to boost VR adoption

Phillip Butler
June 24, 2017

But back to the stats: "Today, I'm pleased to announce that we crossed a big threshold: 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month", wrote CEO Susan Wojcicki in a follow-up blog post published this morning.

The company is working with LG, Yi and Lenovo to on cameras expected to cost "a couple hundred dollars", she says. The VR180 format is created to be viewed on mobile or desktop as a flat video, but will also work in VR headsets like Google's Daydream or Cardboard and the Playstation VR. Keeping in mind the issue, Google has rolled out a new 180-degree video format for YouTube.

"They transition seamlessly to a VR experience when viewed with Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR, which allow you to view the images stereoscopically in 3-D, where near things look near, and far things appear far", Rodriguez explained. Of course, it will be a while before you can actually buy a camera that supports the new VR180 standard, but VR video creators can "loan" one from any one of nine YouTube Spaces locations around the world. The Google-owned site made the official announcement of the new format (VR180) at Vidcon on Thursday.As the name suggests, VR180 will provide that immersive experience when you are looking forward alongside the ability to look around. From vlogs, to makeup tutorials to music videos - your videos will work great in VR.

With VR180, YouTube wants creators to be able to easily access virtual reality video technology that's less expensive. The platform will consist of several compatible cameras, some of which are being developed with the help of the Google Daydream team. The new format even supports live streaming.

Their VR180 cameras are supposed to launch sometime this winter, and they will supposedly be affordable, likely even priced around the same as regular point-and-shoot cameras. For other manufacturers, we're opening up a VR180 certification program and Z CAM will be one of our first partners.

YouTube has enough power and influence to invent and spread VR180. In real terms, this means that irrespective of whether a video was shot vertically or horizontally, YouTube will adapt it to fill the screen.

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