Google now allows users to create and upload 360 degree videos to YouTube and is planning to support the following cameras: Bublcam, Giroptic’s 360cam, IC Real Tech’s Allie, Kodak’s SP360 and RICOH THETA. This means that users can watch a video in any direction for a different perspective instead of just where the camera is facing.
These videos would be accessible on the Chrome Browser, and on YouTube app both on desktop as well as Android mobile. The company is working to bring this to iPhone, iPad and other devices soon. With the 360-degree option, brands and filmmakers will be able to offer a unique experience by letting viewers watch scenes from multiple angles.
Users need to encode their videos using YouTube’s specifications at a high resolution. The 360-degree videos need to be at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second (other frame rates are also acceptable).
YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio players. If user is uploading a non-16:9 file, it will be processed and displayed correctly as well, with pillar boxes (black bars on the left and right) or letter boxes (black bars at the top and bottom) provided by the player.
The YouTube player automatically adds black bars so that videos are displayed correctly without cropping or stretching, no matter the size of the video or the player.
Google is also planning to make available the 360 degree videos through virtual reality platforms. There has been a rise in the adoption of virtual reality across the globe. In December 2014, Samsung released a VR device, the Samsung Gear VR in collaboration with the Oculus VR. Google itself had also launched a basic VR headset for the masses called Google Cardboard.