Video sharing platform YouTube has introduced a 360-degree live streaming and spatial audio to its platform for both the viewers and event organizers.
Now anyone, with just their phone, can have that front-row experience without having to be there. Just as watching a concert in 360 degrees can give you an unmatched immersive experience, spatial audio allows you to listen along as you do in real life, where depth, distance and intensity all play a role.
Google had already been rolling out support for spatial audio elsewhere in its product line, including most importantly, for its VR platform, Google Cardboard. In January, it made it possible for developers to support this option in their own apps, with updates for the Cardboard SDKs for Unity and Android, for example. So it’s not surprising to see the technology being expanded on YouTube.
For viewers, 360° video can be watched on a computer with a scrolling viewport, on a mobile device where your phone is the viewpoint camera, or you can strap on a VR headset and jump inside the video.
The announcement from Neil Mohan, VP, Display Advertising Products of Google arrived 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.