Competitors are lining up to introduce the world to the very first 360 degree video-sharing service, a concept that could soon become an industry standard for both the newly emerging mobile VR scene and PC-driven VR headsets alike. VCEMO (pronounced vee-see-mo) is an early entrant in the race to create the ‘YouTube of VR’, and has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of capturing the niche before it goes mainstream.

VCEMO Kickstarter

Why all the hub-bub about 360 degree video? Well, at the moment it can do something current 3D games can’t, and that’s provide a realistic VR experience on low-end hardware. 360 degree video capture is also as easy as placing the right camera, meaning you don’t need to be a developer to capture something to be experienced in VR. The early tastemakers are betting that every dodo with a DODOcase Cardboard Kit will soon be watching 360 degree video, which is where VCEMO comes in.

The company was founded by a group of college students who met at Vassar College in New York, and although they have haven’t graduated yet, the group of young men may have inspired confidence in a very particular backer—none other than Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus. Then again, Luckey has also backed ‘Virtual Reality Internet‘ and ‘Cmoar‘, two projects he probably didn’t have much confidence in….

SEE ALSO
Google's 'YouTube VR' App is Coming to Oculus Go Soon

vcemo alpha

VCEMO wants to offer a YouTube-style 360 video streaming service that also promises an easy drag-and-drop upload interface, automatic stereoscopic rendering, and support for all types of footage taken from a variety of cameras like the Giroptic and bublcam, as well as DIY camera mounts. VCEMO’s Kickstarter video even notes that the company expects their platform to work with not only 360 degree footage, but also 3D 360 degree content, like that filmed with Jaunt’s camera.

See Also: Paul McCartney’s ‘Live and Let Die’ Performance is Jaunt VR’s First Publically Available Cinematic VR Content

This focus on ease of entry further reinforces VCEMO’s ‘bring what you got’ additude, with in-app navigation handled by a variety of input devices including mouse, head tracking, and Leap Motion.

Providing it reaches its funding goal of $34,500 by December 17th, VCEMO should go into beta sometime in January of 2015, first catering to Oculus Rift owners, then rolling out to VR-capable Android and iOS devices later down the line.

Competition Brings Out the Best

youtube of vr streaming virtual reality video
Photo courtesy: Vyuu

VCEMO is far from the only company vying for the position of nascent market leader. Littlstar, based in New York City, has already cobbled together a list of partners—Belvedere Vodka, DKNY, and Uber, to name a few—for a Panoramic Video Network. The service is already in beta, but looks to be a ‘mouse only’ experience for now, with no word yet of when they intend on expanding to VR devices.


vyuu interfaceVyuu, a company based in Belgium, is also planning on multi-platform support like VCEMO; much like Littlstar, it has attracted the lusty gaze of commercial brands and events including Red Bull, Boiler Room and the record label Cooking Vinyl. Some professional content creators have joined Vyuu—most likely an effort by the company to attract and retain site visitors.

SEE ALSO
'YouTube VR' Finally Comes to Oculus Go, Now Available on Oculus Store

We’ve got our eye on Vyuu’s closed alpha, which is set to kick off any day now, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on any further developments.

If the Shoe Fits…

Who better to become the ‘YouTube of VR’ than, well, YouTube? It has the brand recognition and the technical know-how, so why aren’t we watching stuff like 360 degree Skyrim on YouTube already?

Despite the fact you can find the popular video-sharing app on nearly every internet-capable device, from the smartphone to the refrigerator, larger companies like YouTube still tend to be more averse to risk when it comes to immediately supporting new technology; we can’t really expect them to roll out a 360 degree video service tomorrow. The nearly decade-old company has however recently added support for 60 FPS video, and also holds a prominent spot in Google’s Cardboard app, where users can browse videos in an immersive environment, but can’t yet watch 360 degree footage.

There’s no telling when YouTube will decide to enter the 360 degree video race, but considering today’s winner-take-all economy, the motto “when in doubt, buy it out” seems to be the modus operandi. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping a close watch on Google’s gazes.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • tony

    Hey Scott,

    Great article! Love seeing so much excitement in the space, and we’re excited to help push it forward. I’m the CEO of Littlstar. In addition to the above, we have an API for developers to start hacking together any 360 video / VR cinema experiences they want: https://beta.littlstar.com/apipie . We have many of the top 360 content producers in the world already on our platform, and we have some other unannounced things in the pipeline in terms of content and technology if you want to chat more about it. Mobile experience VERY soon. Thanks again to you guys for bringing this community together. Exciting stuff.

    Best,

    Tony Mugavero
    CEO, Littlstar
    tony (at) littlstar.com

  • pato

    My only wish is that the founders would highlighted a bit more about whats possible beyond what you can already do on YouTube. You can play 360 YouTube videos in Go Show 2.0

    http://goo.gl/JyUu9d

    and a test video 3d-360 video here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzHQCC8K3ks

    be sure to add the youtube video to your “Watch Later Playlist”

  • lanavel

    We are doing almost the same with http://www.lanavel.com
    But we don’t want to have only 360 Videos, the developer has more freedom with us, he can upload whatever he wishes.
    We just want to focus on content delivery and a consistent browsable experience, whatever entertaining content it actually is.

    Ben from Lanavel

  • Dancor

    It looks like there is a serious competitor to the market http://www.evivoo.com/evivoovr they provide

    1) Live and On demand streaming – 2D or 360 video to your self-managed channel
    2) Hardware: 360 degree cameras (auto stitch/stereoscopic) & 2 types of VR headsets (have a better option to Oculus, no OS to install and plug n play with mobiles, laptops, desktops – developers SDK in July and to general public in August)
    3) Stitching software for stereoscopic camera
    4) A self-managed monetisation solution with share revenue and promoter commission program for 2D and 360
    5) A app that any 2D or 360 content/3D game etc… can be experienced as standard or via VR headsets.

    They just filmed a VR documentary at Cannes festival 2015 and rollout their headsets and 360 cam with auto stitching capabilities.

    VR will be hot and evivooVR will be leaders in June 2015, keep a look out for them.