YouTube launches a new video format for virtual reality without the 360 view

youtube
Move over, 360 videos — there is a new video format in town. On Thursday, YouTube launched VR180, a 3D virtual reality format with a 180-degree perspective.

“VR180 video focuses on what’s in front of you, are high resolution, and look great on desktop and on mobile,” YouTube Product Manager Frank Rodriguez wrote, explaining the perks of the new format. “They transition seamlessly to a VR experience when viewed with Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR, which allow you to view the images stereoscopically in 3-D, where near things look near, and far things appear far. VR180 also supports live-streaming videos so creators and fans can be together in real time.”

The move is an interesting one but could prove to be vital to the growth of virtual reality videos. A recent YouTube statistic suggests that viewers spend 75 percent of the time looking at the front portion of 360 videos anyways. The wide perspective still allows viewers to turn their head, but does not show the view from behind.

While 360 is a fun, immersive format, the video type is overused for scenes that really are not interesting from every angle. The new VR180 format allows the same VR effects and headset compatibility but gives the creator more compositional control — not to mention the ability to hide a crew and other video gear.

With half the perspective of 360, a 4K 180VR camera will have better quality than a 4K 360 camera, since the footage is not stretching so far.

Google’s Daydream team is already working with camera developers to design the equipment to record the format, expected to launch this winter. The company says the new cameras will be as simple as using a point-and-shoot and cost roughly the same as a compact camera. 180-degree cameras are now expected from Yi, Lenovo, and LG through a partnership with Google. YouTube users can also apply to rent one of the cameras to be one of the first to broadcast in the new format.

YouTube also says that the format will soon be compatible with popular video editors, including Adobe Premiere Pro.

In conjunction with YouTube’s announcement, Yi Technology announced the development of its compatible camera, which has not yet been named. The camera will be a stereo 3D 180-degree camera with a compact body. Live-streaming capability will also be included.

While three companies already working with Google on developing cameras for the new format, the videos could be arriving even sooner. On Friday, LucidCam announced the launch of its 3D camera which is capable of shooting 360 as well as 180 by turning off half the lenses to switch the viewing mode. The crowdfunded camera will be available without the crowdfunding risk, with retail sales beginning on Monday.

Other manufacturers could follow suit using firmware to use only half the camera’s lenses, but those cameras would have to already have 3D capability to get the full effect from VR180, something that is still rare even from consumer 360-video cameras.

Computing

If graphics cards don’t need it, what’s the point of PCIExpress 4?

AMD's upcoming Zen 2-based, Ryzen 3000 CPUs are backwards compatible, but they still have a new chipset, the X570, that introduces PCIE 4.0. The new standard has more bandwidth than anything needs, but it's still useful.
Smart Home

Amazon drops a deal on this smartphone-controlled MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener

Amazon slashed the price of Chamberlain's MyQ Smart Garage Hub in time for Father's Day. This deal is so good, however, the smartphone-controlled and Google Assistant and IFTTT compatible MyQ opener would be a great gift for anyone.
Smart Home

Facebook says new Portal video-chat devices are coming in the fall

A Facebook executive has revealed the company is gearing up to refresh its video-calling smart displays later this year. The Portal and Portal+ devices launched to lukewarm reviews toward the end of last year.
Smart Home

Best deals on Amazon Echo and Google Home Nest devices for Father’s Day

You can save money on a wide range of devices for Amazon Echo and Google Home Nest smart homes for Father's Day. Here are the best discounts on smart speakers, smart displays, video doorbells, and smart outdoor security cameras.
Photography

Upgrade your glass with rebates of up to $150 on these Sigma lenses

Eyeing some bright primes or versatile zooms? Sigma's Father's Day sale discounts 11 lenses and a mount converter, with rebates as high as $150. The Sigma lens deals include lenses from the company's popular Art Series.
Deals

Amazon drops $700 discount on the Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR full frame camera

Whether you are a pro or a serious amateur looking to expand your skills in photography, you need a quality DSLR camera. Check out Amazon's awesome deal on the Canon EOS 6D Mark II.
Product Review

It's a camera! It's a printer! And it's more fun than it has any right to be

By going digital and adding a built-in mobile printer, the Instax Mini LiPlay puts more features into a smaller form factor than previous Instax cameras, while still being every bit as fun.
Mobile

Save up to $100 on Samsung MicroSD EVO Select memory cards at Amazon

MicroSD memory cards can transform your mobile devices into massive digital storage units. Whether you create or carry your content, Amazon cut the prices on three Samsung Evo Select MicroSD cards in time for summer fun.
Photography

Sony’s new full-frame 600mm f/4 is a $13,000 monster of a lens

More expensive than a new Apple Mac Pro and Pro Display, Sony's $13,000, 600mm f/4 is a dream telephoto lens for professional sports and wildlife photographers. For the rest of us, Sony also announced a $2,000, 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3.
Photography

Fujifilm black-and-white film returns from the dead — thanks to millennials

After discontinuing black and white film, Fujifilm is bringing back the monochrome thanks to demand from younger photographers. The updated Neopan 100 Across II is designed for sharpness and minimal grain.
Social Media

Will this deepfake of a power-hungry Zuckerberg make Facebook rethink fake news?

Just how committed is Facebook to earlier statements on leaving deepfake videos intact but demoted? A fake video of Mark Zuckerberg proclaiming power over your data has lasted for four days on the platform.
Deals

The GoPro Hero7 action camera gets price cut on Amazon ahead of Father’s Day

Got an adventurous Dad? If so, a GoPro action camera will make a great Father’s Day gifts. Ahead of Father’s Day, capture the GoPro Hero7 Black on Amazon for just $329, down from its normal $400. Don't just settle for socks again this…
Social Media

These are the best ways to make your own animated GIF to share

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Photography

You don't need an epic budget to shoot epic photos with the best cheap cameras

You don't need a huge budget to shoot epic photos with the best cheap cameras. There are great deals to be found on both lower-end cameras and older versions of high-end cameras that you can still find new.