Traditionally, when viewing a video, the viewer could only see one side of the action. The camera man would focus his camera on one area and that is what became the video. But in recent times camera techs began making cameras that had a 360-degree angle so that the camera man could capture the entire scene. However, these videos could not be shared with the world, as there was no format for hosting 360-degree videos. So YouTube has now announced that these 360-degree videos will be coming soon.
YouTube will be adding the capability of users to upload 360-degree videos to its site. They plan on adding the necessary technology soon, but first have to work through a few things. On March 12, YouTube added some 360-degree videos but ran into some technical glitches. As a result, they took down the uploaded videos but plan to re-release them soon.
In these videos the camera captures every angle of a scene. Using arrows, the viewer can adjust their viewpoint to see whatever part of the story they want. A YouTube blog article on the YouTube Creator Blog stated that the possibilities for this type of video were limitless, as viewers could see the stage and the crowd in concert, they could see the ground and the sky of a wingsuit gliding, or they could choose their own adventure if people upload videos where several different story lines are going on at once. The video Tomorrowland 2014 depicted these types of viewpoints well, as the video moves through several different types of events and viewers can move through every angle of them.
Though users are not able to upload their 360-degree videos yet, YouTube has put out a recommended list of approved cameras in shooting these types of videos. They stated that the best cameras are the RICOH THETA, Kodak’s SP360, IC Real Tech’s Allie, Giroptic’s 360cam, and the Bublcam. YouTube technicians will also be offering courses that will help people learn how to shoot these types of videos. In fact, YouTube is offering a course at their Los Angeles-based studio for users that have more than 5,000 subscribers in the month of April.
YouTube expects that this new addition of hosting that will allow 360-degree videos will increase their audience and be extremely popular. While everyone else is currently working on things with virtual reality, YouTube believes that their addition is great because users will not have to strap a headset on to see the whole view.
For creators, though, the process of uploading a 360-degree video will be more difficult than simply shooting and uploading. Currently the videos require a Python script and must be recognized by YouTube in order to insert the metadata required. Users will also have a difficult time, at first, as the videos will only work on Android versions of the app and a Chrome extension. Apple users and users of a different browser than Chrome will not be able to see the 360-degree videos until YouTube expands their hosting further and finishes creating the technical side of the process. Videos like these will also be lower quality, at first, compared to the regular videos uploaded on YouTube.
YouTube plans to re-release the ability to upload 360-degree videos very soon. Some videos, such as the one above can still be seen on the site. As 360-degree videos come to YouTube, viewers can expect to see the technical world take advantage of the opportunity to create videos with broader spectrum.
By Crystal Boulware
Jeff Hawkins Photography – Vimeo (watch the full video here)