Google has brought Spotlight Stories for the first time to YouTube just before Christmas, and the first story is indeed festive.
Special Delivery is a story about a caretaker who sets off to investigate who is running around the roofs of the town in the middle of the night. No, it’s not Batman. Festive, remember? You’ll be able to follow him as he continues his investigation, or you can move around and look elsewhere.
Spotlight Stories came to fruition when Motorola was still owned by Google. The app offers 360-degree videos of animated stories specifically made for mobile and virtual reality. It is, however, only compatible with certain devices as it makes use of device sensors for a more interactive experience. Google has made two versions of Special Delivery in order to bring in a wider audience: The Google Spotlight Stories version lets you change levels in the neighborhood, peer into windows, and hear 3D sounds with headphones. If your device is not compatible with Spotlight Stories, though, you’ll have to use the YouTube 360 version.
Before, you needed the iOS or Android app to view the stories, but with Special Delivery, Google is finally bringing the 360 video experience to YouTube.
The short film was made by Aardman Animations, the company behind Wallace and Gromit, and as you take part in Special Delivery, make sure you move around within your phone’s screen to specific scenes as this will unlock mini-stories within the film. Google says that in the full-experience version, there are 10 subplots, three different ways to watch the ending, and more than 60 instances where you can follow the story in different ways.
The YouTube 360 version is compatible with Android and iOS devices as well as the Web. You can also watch it with Google Cardboard if you have one. The search giant says more Google Spotlight Stories will be coming to more Android devices and the YouTube iOS app in 2016.