YouTube VR gets bolder with the Gear headset and communal experiences

how to watch YouTube on a Gear VR
YouTube

Exploring the world through YouTube VR just got a little bit easier and a bit more inclusive. On Wednesday, July 25, the video platform announced that its VR experience is coming to Samsung Gear VR, building upon its existing availability on Daydream View, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.

But given the popularity of the Gear headset, it’s likely that this latest expansion will help YouTube reach a wide new audience. Beginning this week, Gear VR users will be able to download the YouTube app from the Oculus Store for free.

In the spirit of bringing VR to more people, YouTube is also introducing a new feature in its app that allows folks to watch and discuss videos with other users in a virtual space. After all, what’s the use of exploring a cave in Antarctica if you have to do it alone? With the new Watch Together icon in the YouTube VR app, you can not only explore new worlds with others, but chat about them as well.

“We love VR at YouTube because it’s a powerful way to see and experience the world,” the company noted in a blog post. “Virtual Reality lets you experience these moments as if you’re actually there. When you have questions about the world, it can transport you to where the answers are.”

YouTube is also hoping to transport folks to more places than ever before with more exclusive experiences. As it stands, YouTube is home to more than 800,000 virtual realities, and over the course of this summer, this number will continue to grow. The platform will be bringing viewers backstage to concerts in Portugal, where they can interact with The Man and Hayley Kiyoko as they prepare to go on stage. Or, users can be inspired by female leaders across the globe, including spending time with activist, entrepreneur, and Olympic bronze medalist in fencing Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim-American woman to wear a hijab during competition for the U.S. team. And if you’re looking for a thrill, SoKrispyMedia will let you take centerstage in a video game.

“VR can take you anywhere, and YouTube VR can bring you to more places in the virtual world than anywhere else,” YouTube’s VR Product Lead Erin Teague wrote. “I’ve never been more excited about the next places VR storytellers, explorers, and the community will take us — letting us experience them as if we’re actually there.”

Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…
Computing

Pricing and lack of content are still barriers against the adoption of VR

A recent survey questioned 595 VR and AR professionals about business growth in the consumer and enterprise markets. Only 24 percent report strong sales in the enterprise while 18 percent show strong sales in the consumer market.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Smart Home

Amazon turns Whole Foods into a drive-through with new curbside pickup service

Amazon is launching a new Amazon Prime perk that enables Amazon Prime members to order groceries through the Prime App and pick them up at their local Whole Foods Market in as little as 30 minutes.
Virtual Reality

You can go to Scotland to experience The Macallan – or just grab your VR headset

Can't make it to Scotland to take a tour of The Macallan Distillery? There's no need to fret, because as it turns out, you don't even need to leave your living room to get a similar (albeit slightly less buzz-worthy) experience.
Virtual Reality

HTC says ‘it takes time to launch a new technology,’ claims lead in VR revenue

HTC posted a response to a Digital Trends editorial charting VR headset sales on Amazon. The company said "it takes time to launch a new technology," and posted data showing it makes the most revenue among its peers.
Gaming

‘Hellblade’ comes to VR, free for those who own the game on Steam

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is already an incredibly immersive game, and it will become even more so when it comes to HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on July 31. The VR version will be free for those who own the game on Steam.
Computing

Reality shines into your ‘Minecraft’ escape via Windows Mixed Reality Flashlight

What’s great about VR is that you can get the full building experience in Minecraft. The drawback is that you don’t have visual access to the real world without lifting or removing the headset. Microsoft has a fix for Windows.
Photography

Adobe’s next big software secret? An augmented reality tool called Project Aero

Itching to create an augmented reality object? Adobe will soon have software to help. Adobe recently teased Project Aero, an upcoming software that helps design AR objects, including support for Apple's ARKit.
Virtual Reality

Daydream VR users can browse with Google Chrome in virtual space

Tired of browsing the internet in boring regular reality? If you're a Daydream VR user, you no longer have to, as Google has just announced the ability to use Chrome from within your Daydream VR headset.
Computing

Magic Leap’s augmented reality interface floats wherever you want it

New screenshots of a potential user interface for the Magic Leap augmented reality headset give us a firmer grasp of what the AR world inside the goggles might actually look like during day-to-day use.
Mobile

Google Home too boring? You want Gatebox’s cute virtual character in your life

Want to share your life with a virtual character? Then your dream is closer to reality thanks to Gatebox. It will control your smart home, and the character that lives inside the Gatebox can recognize and interact with you.
Deals

The Google Daydream View, one of the best VR headsets, is now on sale for $30

If you own a compatible smartphone, the Google Daydream View is one of the best vVR headsets money can buy. If you've been looking to dip your toes into the world of VR, Verizon has slashed the price of the headset down to just $30.