Aiming to bring virtual reality to the masses, OTT giant YouTube has launched two VR features to its Android app for smartphones that can be paired with inexpensive Google Cardboard viewers.
YouTube is attacking VR from two angles – new VR videos that provide full, 360-degree views (such as this six-minute video: The Hunger Games - Virtual Reality Experience ), and the conversion of existing, flatscreen YouTube videos that delivers a VR-like experience. For the latter, viewers must simply select a new “Cardboard” option from the watch page menu, and insert the smartphone into the viewer.
“All you need is your current phone, and a Google Cardboard viewer,” Kurt Wilms, senior product manager for YouTube VR noted in this blog post about the launch of the new features. “Both of today’s updates make it easier to be there.”
This video discusses the new VR video feature from YouTube in a bit more detail.
Google and YouTube aren’t the only companies looking to bring VR to the masses. Facebook is hoping to do the same via its Oculus division. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reiterated that the company is bullish on VR’s future, but warned that consumer adoption of might not catch on like wildfire right away.