Google has added support for 360-degree videos to YouTube, allowing users of the video-streaming service to select their point of view. The new addition will give video producers and viewers a new way to watch videos, as well as giving content creators and developers more content which could be used by virtual reality headsets in the future.
So far, Google has worked with Bublcam, IC Real Tech, Kodak, Ricoh, and Giroptic to make their 360-degree cameras compatible with YouTube. More technical details have been provided on the YouTube Creators Blog, along with a script that can be run on the video file to insert the correct metadata for it to work properly. The Creator Tech team is also hosting a technology showcase at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, to teach about filmmaking techniques using 360-degree technology.
A few videos using the technology have already been made available to interact with on YouTube, with no special equipment required by the viewer. In the Chrome browser, the video can be navigated using mouse movements or the controls at the top right, while the YouTube app for Android lets smartphone movements control the viewing angle. While not available right now, the same functionality will apparently be coming to the iOS version of the YouTube app "soon."