YouTube has announced the launch of 360 video live streaming as part of its service, allowing its users to view live events and feel as though they are actually there.
This is Google’s latest venture into virtual reality, since the launch of 360 videos last March, where viewers can watch videos through the web, on a smartphone or even through a Google Cardboard handset. However until now, it has not been possible to view a live stream in this format.
The company announced plans to unveil this latest tech this weekend, streaming select artist performances in 360 video from Coachella Festival this Friday through to Sunday. This brings the immersive video format to real-time, allowing viewers to enjoy these events from the comfort of their own home.
The new format allows PC users to use a mouse to adjust their view, but when viewed using a VR headset you can simply look around as if you were standing right there, for a completely immersive experience.
In addition to 360 video live-streaming, YouTube have also announced the launch of spatial audio, so that sounds surrounds the viewer as it does in real life.
When paired together this gives a whole new viewing experience, allowing students to experience news events in the classroom as they happen, travellers are able to experience places they haven’t been before and music fans can enjoy their favourite concerts in real time, as if they were sitting in the front row.
YouTube’s new live 360 video capabilities now offer another way for people to be engaged with the video platform as well as allowing 360 broadcasters to go live at any time, sharing experiences with friends across the globe.
The news comes after rival Facebook announced plans at its F8 developer conference to introduce 360-degree virtual reality as part of its 10-year plan. Google’s latest move centres the company as a distribution for virtual reality as well as the first company to offer live 360 video.
360 degree storytelling is becoming more popular with consumption doubling every three months, and this move allows YouTube to cement their status as the number one place to access video content.