Virtual Reality has been at the center of Popular Sci-fi from generations! And arguably, it might be the next big thing that is going to shape the world. However, everyone has always wanted to know when exactly will it become a commercial reality. When Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2014 that Facebook will acquire Oculus VR, a lot of people; especially gamers; went bonkers imagining the immersive experience they would get when they wear that magical head gear.
While this was going on, another Internet giant Google, was slowly building its own VR strategy piece by piece. In mid-2014, during its annual I/O conference, it unveiled Google Cardboard. The genius of their approach is that they will be using an already established platform like android and turn it into a VR platform!
The story behind Google Cardboard:
David Coz and Damian Henry were Google employees in Paris who were working for the Google Cultural Institute, a Google initiative which gives Museums and Institutes to put their art online. They once stumbled on a stereoscopic video shot from a flying drone, on YouTube. But they didn’t have a 3-D headset that they could use to watch the video. And that’s when the idea for Cardboard was born. They realized that you don’t really need a 3-D headset to watch immersive stereoscopic videos! All you need is a headset wrapped around your phone and a way to make the phone to understand where your head is looking at! Sounds plain and simple right? And then they started working on this project as a part of the famous 20% project by Google.
What is Google Cardboard?
Think VR headsets and your mind will always conjure up hi-tech gizmo which would cost you a bomb. But Google Cardboard is neither! It isn’t high-tech (You can actually build your own) and it won’t cost you much! Sounds too good to be true right? Well, that’s the beauty of the design. It just needs a cardboard, a pair of 40 mm focal distance lenses, magnets, Velcro and a rubber band to put everything in place. Once they’re all put together, you just need to place your phone in the designated slot and look through the lenses.
Check out this cool video by Unbox Therapy to see how it works –
How YouTube comes into picture:
In mid- March 2015, Google started supporting 360 degree video uploads on YouTube. And on June 3rd, it released an update to its YouTube apps which lets users watch these videos through a Cardboard headset. Now all one needs to get immersed in the world of VR is a new generation smartphone with YouTube app (version 10.21 and above) and a Google Cardboard!
Read More : How users can get a taste of YouTube 360
What it means for Video Creators on YouTube:
Right now, creators on YouTube share videos to their fans and build a loyal following by catering to their needs and interests. But what if they can share something more? Something more immersive and entertaining? Like giving them a taste of – what it feels like, to be inside the video?! Well, that’s what YouTube 360 is all about.
Creators can now film in 360 by using instruments like the Jump capture rig which consists of 16 camera modules in circular arrangement. They can capture, assemble and share this 360 degree video content with their fans who can actually experience the time or place, as if they’re actually there! These camera rigs are available at all 6 YouTube space locations around the globe.
Imagine the opportunities this opens up to video creators! They can let their fans inside the backstage of a music concert, scare the living daylights out of them in a horror setting, give them a chance to feel the inside of a huge football stadium and much more. The possibilities are just endless.
Check out how Paramount Studios teamed up with YouTube for the promotion of their latest movie Terminator Genisys:
Note: You can watch this video on YouTube 360 in your android app, and by moving your phone/tablet around to see the different angles. Or you can watch it on your browser by using the mouse to drag the Point Of View around at the top left hand corner.
While the Cardboard and YouTube 360 innovations are more targeted towards the entertainment industry; other fields like education, healthcare and military training will soon join the tide. Till then, brace yourself for the VR revolution.
An online junky who can't get enough of memes, movies and music. I'm a marketing specialist at Vidooly.