Last month someone fitted me with a cardboard headset running a proper virtual reality (VR) demo.
I was really very impressed with it, especially the way the sound location was so specific to the source of the noise on the video as you move your head. If you get a chance to strap an appropriately loaded smartphone to your face, I’d say take it.
Anyway this weekend, being a bit bored looking after my broken ankle (long story), I finally caught up with YouTube’s 360 video exploits and, although the initial content is a bit experimental, I really like that too.
Before you can post 360 video you need a specific type of 360 video camera (they’re all robust and idiot proof) and some processing software, but the whole concept is very much like the 360 still images that were all the rage a couple of years back. The camera records a fully spherical image and the viewer can change the point of view dynamically during playback. Sadly it doesn’t do anything clever with the sound yet, but I’m guessing a future generation will sort that too.
It works particularly well on an iPad, less well on an iPhone and OK on a Chrome desktop. You can only access the 360 video content channel in YouTube if you are on a device or browser that supports the format (not everything does) so next time you’re on YouTube give it a go. This is a nice blend of 360 video and drone footage to show off what can be done given a little imagination.