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YouTube to support virtual reality video on app

  • YouTube has announced
    two new features Thursday for its Android app that expand the video site’s use
    of virtual reality, giving the new technology its biggest platform yet,
    reported
    Reuters.
  •  
  • The app now supports
    VR video – a format that gives viewers what the company says are more realistic

    • YouTube has announced
      two new features Thursday for its Android app that expand the video site’s use
      of virtual reality, giving the new technology its biggest platform yet,
      reported
      Reuters.
    •  
    • The app now supports
      VR video – a format that gives viewers what the company says are more realistic
      360-degree perspectives of films.
    •  
    • To view it, a user
      would call up a virtual reality video on the YouTube app, click a button on the
      video for VR mode, and place the phone in Alphabet Inc’s “Cardboard” device, a
      handheld gadget made from the standard box material that creates a VR viewing
      experience.
    •  
    • Makers of virtual reality
      content can upload VR videos compatible with the Cardboard viewer directly to
      YouTube. YouTube said there are about a dozen VR videos, including one stemming
      from the “Hunger Games” movies.
    •  
    • YouTube also
      announced that viewers can see its vast library of videos with a more limited
      virtual reality experience, also using Cardboard. YouTube said that the videos
      will resemble what a viewer would see on an IMAX theater screen.
    •  
    • Neil Schneider,
      executive director of VR trade organization Immersive Technology Alliance,
      noted that YouTube introduced 3D video in 2009 and was also an early adopter of
      high-definition video.
    •  
    • “It’s not surprising
      they would take the angle of adding virtual reality,” he said.
    •  
    • Schneider said the
      public can expect to see an explosion of high quality content, but said amateur
      content might be more difficult to come by because the gear to create VR
      content is typically expensive.
    •  
    • But Jay Iorio, a
      member of the Institute
      of Electrical and
      Electronics Engineers who is experimenting with creating films for Cardboard
      and Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, said he would not be
      surprised to see VR recording capabilities on smartphones.
    •  
    • “The equipment I have
      right now, people will probably have on their phones in a couple years,” he
      said.
    •  
    • Oculus Rift is
      scheduled for release next near and is expected to cost between $300 to $350.
      Cardboard costs between $5 and $50.
    •  
    • The YouTube app with
      the updated Cardboard technology is currently only available for Android phones
      but an iOS version is set to be released “soon,” according to YouTube.

     

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