YouTube announced that it’s rolling out support for 360-degree livestreaming video support and spatial audio, two features that aims to improve the overall experience people have when watching this new video type, moving us even closer to virtual reality. The Alphabet-owned company is debuting all of this during the annual Coachella music festival.
Virtual reality and 360-degree videos have become among the hottest thing in tech these days with not only YouTube, but Facebook doubling down on their efforts. The idea is to “teleport” you to a different place and connect you more closely with others. But rather than showing you videos of things long past, YouTube now wants you to be there right when it happens. The company is working with companies like VideoStitch and Two Big Ears to make their software compatible with YouTube’s platform.
Neal Mohan, chief product officer for the video social network, touted the possibilities through these updates: “What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experiences to everyone. Students can now experience news events in the classroom as they unfold. Travelers can experience faraway sites and explorers can deep-sea dive, all without the physical constraints of the real world…What were once limited experiences are now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”
With spatial audio support, YouTube says it can offer a listening experience just like in real life, providing depth, distance, and intensity to go along with what you’re seeing. However, right now only those on Android devices will benefit from this, but more will be added in the future.
It’s reported that with the optimal camera and bandwidth, viewers will be able to stream 1440p video at 60 frames per second either on their phone or web browser. And just like Facebook did, YouTube is opening up its APIs to give developers access to stream live VR.
Mohan also stated that if creators interested in testing out these capabilities can eventually visit one of the company’s YouTube Spaces.