YouTube today announced that on top of its support for monscopic 360 video that Google Cardboard owners will now be able to view stereoscopic 360-degree video as well any YouTube video in virtual reality just by toggling a built-in ‘theater mode’.
YouTube published the news on their official blog today that Android devices will now be able to view stereoscopic 360-degree video, or what YouTube is calling “VR Video” as well as “any video using Google Cardboard, and experience a kind of virtual movie theater.”
Much like the Gear VR’s ‘Void Theater’ inside of Oculus Video, the new YouTube virtual theater presents the user with a dark grey background upon which their selected video can play. Also like the Gear VR’s counterpart, you’re able to recenter the video while its playing so you can virtually ‘stick’ the video in place.
To view any YouTube video on Google Cardboard, just toggle the “Cardboard” from the options in the right hand corner, and pop the Android phone into your Cardboard variant.
And simple as that, you’ll be able to watch any YouTube video in VR with the help of an inexpensive Google Cardboard headset, a now open source initiative to deliver a basic VR experience to the masses.
Or is it ‘simple as that’? Testing on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, I noticed a remarkable amount of drift—when the video slowly moves out of the center of the field of view—which is largely attributable to the phone’s lower-sensitivity IMU. Hopefully YouTube will be able to reduce this in-software in coming updates, because at it is stands now, I couldn’t watch a 10 minute video without recentering the view several times.