Google finally brings virtual reality content to YouTube

google cardboard camera app news cardboard2
Tech giants are constantly working to further immerse users of virtual reality content. While games are on the frontlines for this technology, video creators and other media industries also want to get on board. Leading VR innovator Oculus VR, the first company to host a Kickstarter campaign for the technology, has its own studio for producing high quality video content. And now anyone can experience VR content through YouTube. Parent company Google began posting 360 degree videos in March this year, and the site now fully supports VR videos. 

The content requires a Google Cardboard compatible smartphone, leaving those with the HTC Vive or Oculus headsets out of the loop. Otherwise, users simply slip their phones into their cardboard headsets and enjoy some of the content that exists.

In addition to incorporating support for the fledgling tech, the search giant also announced that Google Cardboard now features a theater mode. With this update, you can watch any YouTube video in a virtual theater environment.

VR video is still a niche market and the various creators spread their content via different websites. But none of these can match the size of the YouTube audience. While it can be a struggle to find the content you’re searching for, VR support on YouTube should spark an exponential increase of the production and accessibility of VR content. YouTube is a platform for countless creators who seek to stand out from the crowd. By supporting the technology in its early stages, Google gives both the technology and pioneering creators an opportunity to shine.

For VR, this could be a needed boost. Spreading it across the world’s most popular online video service like butter on toast might provide ample momentum for the emerging tech. This is especially important ahead of the release of advanced (and pricey) headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

That said, don’t expect a full-length reimagining of The Hobbit to appear anytime soon; Samsung only this year finally launched the consumer version of its VR-headset Gear VR, and the big players haven’t even entered the game yet. It will be some time before we see multi-million dollar movie projects on either YouTube or any other service.

Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than it's ever been, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Emerging Tech

Frogs regrow ‘paddle-like’ limbs when placed in a bioreactor

Frogs have partially regrown amputated limbs thanks to a bioreactor at Tufts University. By jump-starting tissue repair, the bioreactor helped the amphibians regenerate a bigger, more complete appendages than they usually do.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.