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.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Don Gateley

    FWIW, my Galaxy S6 has virtually no drift. Praise the gods.

    A few things I’d like to see are:

    – Recenter should work both vertically and horizontally. I hate having to always hold my head upright. I’d like to kick back on my recliner, put my head back on the rest, do a recenter and have the image directly in front of where my head is pointed. This seems so obvious I don’t know why it doesn’t just work that way.

    – It should allow you to control the scale/size of the image regardless of the type.

    – It should have IPD compensation adjustment that moves the images either closer to or further from the center. That would help with all the fixed IPD viewers that don’t match the users IPD.

  • cly3d

    I’ve noticed the drift too on the note4. (used it inside the GeaVR without connecting the USB connector)

    What’s really interesting is, now all the stereoscopic Youtube videos (non 360) also work and look great in Cardboard.
    I tried out an old one i’d uploaded back in 2008
    Waiting for them to enable the “cardboard” icon for Live Youtube content creators. That will truly democratize VR.
    (If NextVR can live stream standard stereoscopic 180… why not!)

  • MobileVrStation

    On iOS you can use Mobile VR Station’s, “Micro VR Station” safari extension to watch YouTube and other 3rd party content, but its just the low quality versions since HTML5 layer doesn’t give out high res versions. Just get safari to open the videos page, you will need to hit cancel a few times since it always wants to open in the App, have the video play for a second, and then use the [Share] link to open with Micro VR Station.

  • vrforu

    VR is the Future! Biggest VR sites list

  • Naznin

    This is truly amazing look at this one youtube live stream from iphone –

  • Peter Matthews

    THe biggest problem at the moment is YT downsampling the video quality, we shoot 36 video with a 6 GoPro rig at 4K and YT can’t handle it, some of our examples here, would be good to hear some feedback

  • Porn Jack

    They came a long way since then. I usually just download the stream and then play it on my oculus. Cant wait for oculus go. How about adult vr?