Google’s focus on 360 degree video and images has become more pronounced in the last 2 years, the launch of Cardboard Camera last year gave a great way to capture content, but sharing it has been a poor experience so far. Today, Google has announced VR View – ‘a quick and easy way to embed immersive content on Android, iOS and the web’.
At its core, the functionality will enable the simple sharing of 360 degree images and video. Images can be stored as png, jpeg, or gif files, while video can be shared as mp4s encoded with h264. Google is advising specifications for the images as ‘powers of two’, with mono images and video recommended as having a 2:1 aspect ratio, while stereo images and video can be 1:1.
The effect is aimed at being used to give a better spatial awarness in situations, with Google using travel and real-estate as prime examples of places the 360 view will have great effect.
At this stage, 360 images and videos will be shared as iFrames, as you see below, but have offered open source VR View source code on GitHub to allow for self-hosting
To capture 360 videos and images, Google is recommending the Ricoh Theta and of course their home-grown Cardboard Camera app. Now we just need to get our hands on a Ricoh Theta S to get some great images to share at our next event.