YouTube Is Diving Into Virtual Reality In A Big Way

google cardboard one of the best vr headsetsImage Source: Amazon.com

It doesn’t hurt to be a part of the Alphabet (formerly Google) family when it’s time to get things done and Google’s cardboard virtual reality (VR) viewer and YouTube are set for an epic adventure together.

YouTube and Cardboard together

Nearly everyone, it seems, has a smartphone these days. More and more people order Google’s Cardboard, a no-nonsense approach to VR by turning your smartphone into the viewer, each day. Nearly one in six people in the world visit YouTube to watch videos each month. Collectively that over billion people audience stream hundreds of millions of hours of video over a month’s time.

As far as who will be responsible for a push in VR viewing, you may not need to look much further than YouTube.

“YouTube is about democratizing,” said Kurt Wilms, senior product manager for YouTube VR. “It’s about bringing this kind of video to everyone.”

Thursday’s announcement from YouTube

YouTube announced that each 360 video on the site will now be viewable in 3D. But, perhaps even more impressive is the fact that YouTube will make every video in its library viewable on Cardboard. You simply play a video on the Android YouTube app and press the Cardboard icon. This will immediately reformat the stream and present the videos in an IMAX-like format. While YouTube and Google plan to release this feature for iOS, they’ve yet to tell anybody when that will happen.

And there you have it, in one bold swoop YouTube has just become the largest library of VR movies in the known universe. Take that Facebook and Samsung. Your efforts in VR tech may end well, but they will come after YouTube’s efforts. Sure Facebook shelled-out $2 billion in 2014 for Oculus. Sure Oculus created the Gear VR which turns Samsung phones into VR viewers for $99, but that’s four times the price of Google’s Cardboard ($25).

While virtual reality is still in its infancy, it’s growing up fast.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]

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