YouTube picks up streaming support for “360-degree” spherical video

It’s impossible to look at this year’s big smartphone launches and pretend that spherical all-the-way-around “360-degree” video isn’t a hot feature on the minds of some big hardware teams: both the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 debuted alongside their own handheld devices tailor-made for the purposes of capturing such immersive content, all ready to be enjoyed with your VR viewer of choice (though a regular phone will work just fine in a pinch). With the hardware landing, all we needed was some good software support, and a couple months back we heard that YouTube was getting ready for this wave of spherical video with plans to support live streaming of such content, putting viewers right in the action as it happened. Today we finally get details on how all this will happen, as Google introduces YouTube support for spatial audio and live streaming of 360-degree video.

Google’s been working on this support with companies behind some of the hardware and software packages that make this kind of interactive first-person video possible, and intends to add support for further 360-degree video sources soon.

Spatial audio complements the new live streaming video support by giving viewers an aural experience that attempts to make things sound – not just look – like they’re right there themselves.

Especially with it looking like VR support could be baked in at the system level with Android N, this new streaming video support is just another sign of Google’s growing interest in all things virtual reality. Who knows: maybe Google will treat us to some just-like-we-were-really-there streaming coverage of Google I/O events next month – we wouldn’t be surprised.

Source: Google

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!