YouTube announces VR180, a new VR content format for the video-sharing service

Today, YouTube announced a new video format to go along with everything kids use these days. It’s called VR180 and was created for YouTube in conjunction with Google’s Daydream team. It works for both pre-recorded and live-streamed content, and it’s compatible with Google Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR.

3D video in VR isn’t a revolutionary idea, but it’s good that YouTube is making an effort to standardize and increase its availability. YouTube previously supported VR, stereoscopic 3D and 360-degree content, but the company believes the new VR180 format will make it easier for users to create their own VR content. Additionally, content created in the format works seamlessly in and out of a VR environment. The post doesn’t quite confirm if it’s locked to 180 degree video or not, but between the format name and the description that says, “VR180 video focuses on what’s in front of you” I tell him gives a good chance.

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If you are interested in checking it out, there are already some videos in VR180. Someone even made a whole playlist of it. Unfortunately, they’re not so cool without a VR headset to watch them, but even on a desktop computer, you can see that YouTube has achieved its goal of having one format for multiple setups. Whether you’re on Daydream or just watching on your TV, the same video looks pretty decent either way. The experience is vastly improved, however, if you have a headset.

There’s no word on which cameras might currently work with VR180, but the blog post said it’s working with manufacturers like Yi, Lenovo and LG to make new cameras specifically for it. There is also a VR180 certification that manufacturers can meet to ensure their products meet the specifications and standards required to work with the format. Yi even has a mailing list, if you want more information. If you want to learn more about YouTube’s VR180, you can sign up for updates here.

In the meantime, creators can request a loaner of a compatible camera from one of nine YouTube Spaces. To use a YouTube Space usually requires at least 10,000 subscribers (1000 for nonprofits), registration without copyright infringement/terms of use, not to be part of a brand outside of YouTube’s Brand Partner Program, and they must follow an orientation. That’s a pretty high bar to enter. But, once you are there, the resources are free. It’s unclear what additional requirements (if any) creators may have to meet to play with a VR180 camera in a YouTube Space.

Everyone expects VR to be the next big consumer tech, and with this new format, YouTube has shown it has Google’s back when it comes to things like Daydream. Even better, if things do not do panning, VR180 looks great on a normal screen, too.

Source: Youtube


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Shirley K. Rosa