Google has taken one of the first important steps in bringing “VR to everyone”. YouTube now supports 360-degree virtual reality videos if you own a Google Cardboard headset. Android is already working, iOS support is coming soon.
YouTube VR is here
Back in the summer of 2015, Google announced its plans to enter virtual reality in a big way. The “Jump” camera rig will be able to record virtual reality videos that allow you to look around in a virtual world, almost feeling like being present.
You can now experience these VR videos. You need a Google Cardboard headset, a modern large-screen smartphone, and the YouTube app. In the app a new “cardboard” icon will appear. It currently only works in the Android app but Google will bring support to the iOS app “soon”.
There are 13 videos available to enjoy in VR on YouTube. That is not a lot but Google will let everyone upload them so the catalog should expand exponentially in the coming months and years.
Google also lets you press the “cardboard” icon on non-VR videos, which creates a “virtual movie theater”; a black canvas with a virtual screen on top.
YouTube’s VR is not as good as Oculus’ or Sony’s - at least not yet - but it is a way to get a taste of what to come. To start experiencing VR on your phone you need to buy one of the Google Cardboard headsets. Prices start at $1.