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posted by Fnord666 on Friday June 23 2017, @03:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the ontology-rules dept.

Google is launching VR180, a format which ignores the world behind the camera:

Google is launching a new, more limited cinematic VR format that it hopes will be almost as accessible as regular YouTube videos. It's called VR180, a collaboration between YouTube and Google's Daydream VR division. And it'll be produced with a new line of cameras from Yi, Lenovo, and LG, as well as other partners who meet VR180 certification standards.

As the name suggests, VR180 videos don't stretch all the way around a viewer in VR. They're supposed to be immersive if you're facing forward, but you can't turn and glance behind you. Outside VR, they'll appear as traditional flat videos, but you can watch them in 3D virtual reality through the YouTube app with a Google Cardboard, Daydream, or PlayStation VR headset.

Creators can shoot the videos using any camera with a VR180 certification. Google's Daydream team is working with the three companies above, and the first of their VR180 products are supposed to launch this winter, at roughly the same price as a point-and-shoot camera. So far, the only image we've seen is the one above, a line drawing of Lenovo's design. It appears to have two wide-angle lenses that can shoot stereoscopic video, and it's a far cry from the expensive alien orbs that we often see in VR film shoots.

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  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday June 23 2017, @04:30PM (3 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday June 23 2017, @04:30PM (#530070) Journal

    Couldn't they just make a format that has a variable scope of view. Instead of limiting beforehand on what can be done?

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday June 23 2017, @05:04PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <> on Friday June 23 2017, @05:04PM (#530083) Journal

    It's about the hardware. Apparently, their cheap front-facing camera design can take video with a 180 degree field of view. It sort of looks like a normal camera and will be much cheaper and easier to use than the 360° camera balls. Although I'm sure there will be a lot of video taken with somebody's thumb in the field of view.

    Making something that could do 240 degree video, for example, would be a more complicated design than the mockup from TFA.

    180 * 2 = 360. There could be some software advantages to that. Easier to calculate stuff since it's just half, possibility of mirroring the same footage exactly to cover 360 degrees, etc.

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    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday June 23 2017, @05:34PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday June 23 2017, @05:34PM (#530104)

      Don't forget the possibility of stitching together the footage from two 180* cameras into a full 360* view. It'd still have lots of limitations that I (think) don't apply to decent VR ball cameras, but for "youtube VR" enthusiasts it should make for a decent enough entry point.

  • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Friday June 23 2017, @06:26PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Friday June 23 2017, @06:26PM (#530141) Journal

    Google VR180 seems to be completely contrary to Google's royalty-free AOMedia Video 1 codec [] which could provide field-of-view angles and/or wrap-around flags. Instead, this requires "VR180 certification" and, presumably, a cryptographic signature or a proprietary format. It also reminds me very strongly of the 180 film format which was popular at theme parks.