YouTube for Android goes full VR for Cardboard users: 3D with head tracking

If you’ve ever played around with Google Cardboard and YouTube, you’ve likely been amazed by some of the 360-degree footage available, and watched your share of 3D videos, but so far there’s been a big gap between the two: what about watching footage that’s in 3D, and also has head-tracking support? It’s been a long time coming, but today Google announces a couple new features for the YouTube Android app that finally make this dream a reality.

With supported clips, users can now immerse themselves in 3D content while also being able to turn their heads around in a full 360-degree circle to check out the action from all angles.

That’s a big enough update on its own, but Google’s not done there, and also introduces a new feature that can make watching standard clips a lot more interesting. After all, let’s face it: panoramic and 3D videos are cool, but the vast majority of content on YouTube is standard 2D fare. As of today, Cardboard users can now watch this footage through their headsets on a virtual 3D screen. It doesn’t attempt to change the videos you’re watching any, but instead allows you to view them in the privacy of your Cardboard viewer, as if floating on a screen out in front of you.

You’re probably going to want a phone with a pretty high-res screen to try out the latter; we just gave it a spin on a 1080p handset, and while the effect is pretty neat, the narrow field of view means you’re getting up close with some big pixels, resulting in plenty of aliasing and jagged edges – you knew quad HD had to be good for something, right?

Source: Google

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About The Author
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!