If you’ve never had a virtual reality (VR) experience, watching a 360 ° video on YouTube may well count as your first. Although you are looking at a flat screen, and landscapes may or may not be virtual, there’s still plenty of ground to classify it as a VR experience. With a bit of direction, you can navigate around a 360 ° plane and feel intensely present in the scene (whether that is CGI, animation, or real footage). Due to the format’s high appeal, YouTube is now counting more and more of these types of video experiences.
Fascinated with the idea of entering different realities, you may already own a VR headset or a Google cardboard to go with your phone. The good news is, you don’t even need one. The format’s compatibility with YouTube has made it highly accessible with simple controls; swiping left and right or holding up your phone and moving it around is all it takes to become immersed. Unlike with virtual environments that require a headset for best results, you can experience virtual reality instantly.
So, let’s explore some ready-to-watch immersive content and where you can find it.
The New York Times first introduced this type of content in 2016 with “The Daily 360”. In 2017, National Geographic filmed the first 3D / VR experience aboard the International Space Station for its 10-part cinematic series, “One Strange Rock”. The main inspiration behind the format is allowing viewers to embody an experience that is miles closer to reality compared to that of 2D video. From floating in space with astronauts to walking with savanna elephants in Botswana, it can all feel hyperrealistic.
GoPro has been the go-to camera for action filming, but it’s not just about video stabilization anymore. That’s why GoPro’s latest addition, MAX, is a 360 ° dual-lens camera. 360 ° action videos are guaranteed to give you a kick of adrenaline more than anything else available to watch. For creators, this marks new territory for action-infused content. Speaking of athletics, you can take a seat inside the arena and share the thrill of the audience by revisiting some of the best moments in the world of sports.
Enjoy our special discount for all blog readers!
If you’ve been wanting to visit a city and see their famous attractions, you can take a 360 tour first. You can also take a more personal tour inside someone’s apartment or walk-in closet. Back in 2017, Vogue let us peek into supermodel closets while they were going through their favorite items.
Leading brands are experimenting with 360 ° videos to define new types of entertainment and reinforce storytelling. Studies show that brands can achieve a significant return on their investment with VR advertising. Kit Kat’s “Zen Break” sent metrics through the roof by giving people an immersive zen break experience. Paramount Pictures and OmniVirt promoted the theatrical release of Mission Impossible: Fallout, with a 360 ° “Behind the Scenes” video of a real helicopter chase with Mr. Tom Cruise himself.
Although 360 ° technology in filming is at its infancy, it opens a whole world of possibilities when it comes to the future of filmmaking. You will find that many critically acclaimed 360 ° / VR movies already exist in what is a healthy growing industry. “The Invisible Man”, a narrative-driven 360 ° / VR short film produced by Midnight Pictures and The Secret Lab, aims to give viewers a more active role as the story unfolds. The experience is enhanced further with VR goggles. The award-winning “Invasion!” Is a 360 ° animation by Baobab Studios that aims to make VR animation accessible and enjoyable for everyone: it won an Emmy® for “Outstanding Interactive”.
Although YouTube is the primary platform offering this kind of entertainment, you can also find it on other platforms like Vimeo, Samsung VR, and Facebook.