A few years ago, YouTube was just some website hosted in some garage. Along the way, Google bought the company for a huge amount of money. To this day, Google is still set on consciously improving the video-sharing site. Speaking of such, YouTube offers a new feature and that’s 360 Degree Live Stream Video.
What Is 360 Degree Live Stream Video?
To make things easier to understand, let’s break this feature down step-by-step.
First, have you seen those popular video clips in YouTube that allows you to seemingly rotate your view by tilting or moving your mobile device? For example, if you move your camera from left to the right, the clip on the screen will also move from left to right; as if it’s like you are in the room or event itself. This is what they call a 360 degree video.
Second, you probably know what live stream is all about? It’s like watching a clip, but instead of being pre-recorded or replayed, it’s live.
When you combine the two, you get 360 Degree Live Stream Video. Yes, it’s a live stream that allows you to view around the room or event as it happens.
When Is It Going To Be live?
If your hands are itching to incorporate this new feature for your business, then you don’t have to wait very long.
According to Google, the new 360 Live Stream Video will be officially available starting at the Coachella Music Festival, which is held at Indio, California.
With this new feature, it’s clear that Google is eye-in on the possible gigantic trend of “virtual Reality”. Why so? This is because the 360 videos work very well, and without virtual reality goggles. In fact, Google is already making it possible for the masses to create their own virtual reality goggles. Yes, this article is talking about the dirt-cheap virtual reality cardboard goggles form Google.
Here is an example of a 360 degree video. If you are viewing it on your phone, you need the latest version of YouTube and an app for using 360 degree video, such as the Cardboard app. Then you just have to change the angle of your phone to see more of the picture. On your PC, you have to use your mouse or your arrows to change the angle.
This article from TheVerge.com provides more virtual reality information in an interview with the long-time executive at Google and now Chief Product Officer at YouTube, Neal Mohan.
Like any Bay Area resident with a pulse, Neal Mohan is a big fan of the Golden State Warriors, but as a busy Google executive, he can’t make every home game in person. “That courtside seat is limited by the laws of physics,” says Mohan ruefully. Luckily, he won’t be bound by those rules for very long. This morning, in front of the biggest players in broadcast media, Mohan took the wraps of YouTube’s newest feature: live-streaming, 360-degree video. “Now anyone, with just their phone, can have that front row experience without having to be there.”
Mohan’s announcement arrives just one week after Facebook unveiled its plans for expanding live-streaming and its own design for a 360-degree camera, although it can’t yet support the combination of live and 360. The two biggest players in online video are racing toward the same goal: completely immersive entertainment that transports the viewer to another world. But they are taking strikingly different paths to get there.
For YouTube, Live 360 content is the gateway drug between what most people watch today and the immersive era of virtual reality that is just getting underway. “As a user, you don’t need to do anything,” says Mohan. Open the YouTube app on your mobile device or launch it on the web and you’re ready to go. “There is no fancy technology to purchase or integrate.” That’s a not so subtle jab at Facebook’s Oculus Rift, which offers cutting edge virtual reality, but retails for $599, not counting the $1,000 gaming PC that powers it.
360 VIDEO IS NOW RELATIVELY CHEAP TO MAKE
Consumption is one side of the puzzle, creation is the other. At launch, YouTube’s Live 360 product will work with cameras that cost as little as $350, far less than the $17,000 it would cost to build the open-source hardware Facebook showed off at F8. YouTube is also releasing an API so any hardware maker can integrate Live 360 into their product. And it’s deploying 360 cameras to its YouTube spaces so creators can start playing with this new feature.
Mohan believes it will soon be possible for consumers to get in on the game. “Right now it’s specialized hardware,” he explains. “But you know how these things work from a technology curve standpoint. We think we need to have a handful of flagship experiences and then as hardware tech takes off, it will spread out more broadly.”
Mohan, who spent eight years working on Google’s advertising products, was recently tapped as one of CEO Sundar Pichai’s top lieutenants, promoted to senior vice president, and given the role of chief product officer at YouTube. Listening to him talk about the possibilities for Live 360, it’s clear his new role is exciting in a way programmatic ad auctions might not have been anymore. There was the experience of walking through a faraway jungle, and the one where he sat inside a fireworks display. The Verge will be premiering the first 360 live stream on YouTube this Wednesday with Dawn Richard. “Those are the kinds of magical experiences this technology is going to be able to create,” he says with a beaming smile. “Without having to spend money on some fancy headset.”
Why Is It Important For My Business?
Let’s get real here. The attention spans of today’s consumers are shorter than a fruit fly’s life span. To grab the attention of your consumers, you need to offer something that is new or very useful; and that is the golden nugget right there.
With 360 Degree Live Stream Video, you are offering something new to your customers. It grabs their attention, which means more exposure for the message you are trying to convey.
As small or medium size business owner, your ears should be on the ground for possible new ways of grabbing the attention of your customers. As of the moment, one of the best ways of doing that is through 360 live streams.