YouTube and parent company Google are launching a new VR video format.
Called VR180, the format attempts to address some of the cost and accessibility concerns presented by current 360-degree capture technology by offering a more limited take on immersive video.
Like the name suggests, VR180 allows viewers to watch immersive video in 180 degrees, instead of the full 360 degree view that’s typically associated with virtual reality content. Essentially, Google wants to get more people into virtual reality by halving it.
The format was created in collaboration with the Daydream team. The company says it’s working with companies like LG, Yi and Lenovo to build VR180 cameras that are as easy to operate as a point-and-shoot camera and cost as little as “a couple hundred dollars.” The first wave of VR180 cameras will arrive this winter, says YouTube.
YouTube says VR180 videos look “great” on both mobile and desktop. In addition, the videos transition seamlessly to VR when viewed through a Cardboard, Daydream or PSVR headset. The company says VR180 videos will be easy to livestream over YouTube.
Moreover, content creators will be able to edit any footage captured with a VR180 camera with existing editing programs like Adobe Premiere Pro.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojciki also announced that YouTube now has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, and that those users, on average, spend more than an hour each day watching videos on the platform with their mobile devices.