Google Announces VR180: New Format for Virtual Reality

Google launches a new virtual reality format reduced to just 180° as a field of vision. You will not be able to see behind, in favor of greater image quality.

Google is launching a limited virtual reality format for being more accessible: VR180. Made in collaboration between YouTube and Daydream VR, the new format will come true with new certified Yi, Lenovo and LG cameras, along with other unidentified partners who will follow the standards set by the VR180 certification.

As the name suggests VR180’s videos will not allow the user to look behind his position, but only in the 180° fronts compared to his point of view. If not played with a VR viewer, videos will be flat, like the traditional ones we see on monitors and TVs, but can also be viewed in 3D through the YouTube application with viewers of various types, including Google Cardboard, Daydream and PlayStation VR viewers.

Google VR180

Creators will be able to record a VR180 video using any compatible camcorder, with the first models that should arrive by the end of the year, in the winter season, at the same price as a traditional camera punts and snaps. As shown by a small sketch released by Lenovo, cameras should be produced by the name of low cost, have two wide-angle lenses and be capable of making stereo video.

Switching from the traditional 360° VR to 180° video has several advantages: Stitching operations are simpler and faster, and simplified video creation. With the VR180, the camera operator can hide in the field of view that is not occupied in the frame (behind the camera), which is not allowed, for example, with traditional 360° recording. Lastly, file sizes are much more compact.

This latter factor could lead to much higher-quality video in the part of the screen that is visible at a given time, to a more direct live streaming of the same quality, all requiring lower computational power than the ” full ” VR. The 180° viewing range is already used for example by NextVR especially in the sports field, where it is useful to look at the gameplay and not just the viewers behind the camera.

The VR180 will not replace virtual reality and is not going to do it, but it’s a way to make technology more enjoyable and streamlined video production by amateur creators without great economic potential. Standard-made videos can be modified with traditional applications such as Adobe Premiere, hoping that more video-makers will be interested in the new features made possible by modern technologies.

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