Google has introduced a new YouTube video format which it has named VR180. As might already be perceptible, the new VR180 makes for a full 360-degree video spliced in half. So in effect, VR180 depicts just one-half of a spherical video.
Google said the above move is aimed at simplifying the entire concept of 360-degree videos in the first place. That also applies to all the hardware or software side of it, including the production of 360-degree videos, which could seem daunting to many.
The introduction of the new 180-degree video format has also been prompted by user reactions to spherical 360-degree videos. With nearly 75 percent users focusing on only what is in front of them, the new VR180 format should make sense for them. It would still be providing an immersive experience, as long as you are ready to remain focused on only the front and the sides.
As such, shooting content in the new VR180 format will be simpler in that it won’t require a demanding hardware and software setup. Things would be financially easier too as full 360 videos for a fully immersive VR experience calls for a lot of investment in hardware and software.
Uploading of the VR180 videos will also be easier on YouTube. The same also applies to actually viewing the stuff as it would easily be accessible to a wide range of devices such as Cardboard, Daydream and such.
Google stated the new VR180 format has been the result of collaboration between YouTube and the mobile VR section within Daydream. The launch of the new format is also accompanied by similar efforts to launch suitable hardware to actually shoot the video.
In this respect, there already is a partnership with LG and Lenovo going to develop VR180 certified dual lens cameras. No details on this are available as yet but the first such cameras are expected to launch towards the end of the year itself.
Meanwhile, Google also stated they would remain committed to the more elaborate 360-degree video format on YouTube. The new VR180 format will just serve as a stepping stone before graduating to the more demanding 360-degree format.