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The tech nerds will definitely want to hear about this – Youtube is about to go 360° on live video streaming.
The big company is reportedly planning to add support for 360-degree live-streamed video. Sources say that YouTube has been meeting with camera manufacturers with the intention of developing a way to live stream 360-degree videos. YouTube itself refused to comment on the report, and no timeline has reportedly been set for launch, but the company could be helping to set up specifications with camera manufacturers that would let people stream live 360-degree videos from 360-degree cameras as they currently do from regular cameras.
The Youtube staff has been interested in this brand-new idea since last March, a few months before Google introduced 360-degree support for Cardboard, and before Facebook introduced 360-degree videos.
Earlier this week Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that ‘it’s still incredibly early innings for virtual reality as a platform’ and that Google Cardboard – its low-cost VR headset – was “just the first step’. In January, Google was reported to have set up a dedicated Virtual Reality (VR) division and had appointed company executive Clay Bavor to run the unit.
In November 2015, Youtube also added Virtual Reality video support to the serivce’s Android app, inviting viewers to experience immersive, 360-degree content. Back then, YouTube also said that the new VR features ‘enable you to see and be seen in a whole new way’, with Android users able to watch VR content using their phone and a Google Cardboard headset or device holder.
The first time that YouTube added 360-degree video support to Google Cardboard was in May 2015. Two months earlier, the company announced that it had started to support 360-degree video uploads, allowing viewers to control the angle and point-of-view of supported video clips.
The biggest challenge faced by YouTube is stitching the video together while it’s streaming live, something the platform is reportedly creating software for as a way to support a variety of different cameras. A solution would be to develop stitching software that could accommodate feeds from a variety of cameras. This would require significant effort on Youtube’s part.
However, another possibility would be having some 360-degree cameras that are capable of stitching video themselves. Right now, Youtube disposes of a number of such cameras and others are headed to market later this year. There is a strong possibility that YouTube’s live 360 initiative could be limited to these devices alone, at least in the beginning.
Streaming live 360-degree video isn’t necessarily new; NextVR made headlines last October when it live streamed the opening game of the NBA season, something it hopes to do more of throughout the year.
All this sounds like good news for the biggest video platform in the world, who is expected to have a major breakout year, following the ‘fresh face’ it will adopt starting soon.
Image Source: virtualon.co.uk