Google announced back in January that it would be offering support for 360-degree video ‘within weeks.’ Technically, today fits within that timescale which is just dandy, because of this very date people can now watch a selection of 360-degree videos on YouTube.
Perfect for those using a virtual reality headset like Oculus or Google’s Cardboard, the 360-degree videos are the next big thing to land on YouTube. It’s still super early days for the new content though, so don’t expect to be watching Apple Watch unboxing videos in 360-degrees next month.
If you don’t have a headset then fear not, because you can also use YouTube’s Android app and Google is working on bringing the same support to iOS. Google managed to make the Android app play ball by tracking how you are holding the device and then changing what is on screen to reflect those movements. It’s a hack, but it’s better than nothing.
The current catalog of content is very much on the small side, but with new 360-degree capable cameras on the way from a whole host of companies, it shouldn’t be too long before the barrier to entry is sufficiently small to get the ball rolling properly. We’re still not taken with 3D so we might need a little more time before we make the jump to 360-degree, though.
You can check out an early example of what 360-degree videos will look like and even get the full effect by using an on-screen control that mimics movement. It may not give you a full reading of what to expect from the real thing, but it’s sure better than nothing!