After recently adding support for 360 degree videos to YouTube, the company now says that 360 + stereoscopic 3D video support is on the way. The streaming service currently supports 360 or 3D videos, but not both together.
Google’s tentative toe in the VR’s waters, which started back at Google’s I/O conference in 2014 with the launch of Google cardboard, has, like the rest of the VR industry, progressed rapidly into a concerted dash for supremacy in the space. For Google, virtual reality and 360 video is now clearly a major target for expansion and investment as its video streaming service YouTube has seen a rapid addition of VR specific features. 360 video support was introduced quietly under a month ago. Along with Google’s Jump 360 video hardware and processing pipeline announced at this year’s Google I/O, it’s clear where the search giant’s priorities lie right now.
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) July 24, 2015
Now, a tweet via Google’s YouTube Creator network indicates we can expect further movements towards ‘full’ virtual reality support. The tweet suggests that we can expect stereoscopic 3D support to be added to 360 videos ‘soon’, adding a much needed element of immersion to YouTube’s VR video platform. Although 360 degree content when done right can be extremely compelling in monoscopic form, stereo 3D is widely accepted as a presence enabler for immersive content like VR video.
A precise timeline on when YouTube content creators can expect this support to go live isn’t available, but given Google’s past rapid prototyping in this arena, expect something live very shortly.
Not only that, but an added incentive for content creators to work to bolster YouTube’s growing 360 degree video library was also recently added in the form of 360 adverts. According to a recent story on Engadget, Google has already enabled a feature to allow companies to upload 360 degree ‘TrueView’ adverts. Bud Light were among the first to trial the new feature (powered by Jaunt) which is detailed in a Google Adwords blog piece here.
However you may feel about adverts on the internet, and in particular on YouTube, it’s an important revenue stream for content providers and with this move towards 360 commercial content and therefore vital for the growth of the space.