Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has unveiled a new video file format designed to simplify virtual reality for viewers and content creators. VR180 is the new file format that the tech giant says will make watching 360-degree videos a better experience than it is with current technology.
VR180 for Virtual Reality
The new file format is designed to enable the viewing of 360 degree videos with a VR headset in 180 degrees. The technology achieves this by trimming the field of view by half, considerably reducing the file size of videos.
Displaying half of the sphere at the same 4K resolution should make everything appear sharper and more vivid. While it may seem like a downgrade, Google remains confident that the new file format will make it easier to record VR content.
Camera set up and editing process with the new file format have been simplified. Adobe Premiere Pro support is on the way as part of an effort that seeks to make it possible for everyone to enjoy a more streamlined VR video approach.
“VR180 videos focus on what’s in front of you, are high resolution, and look great on desktop and on mob,” Google in a statement.
The new format provides creators an opportunity to share normal videos that offer something extra to users with mobile headsets such as Cardboard, DayDream and Play Station VR. VR180 will work in Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR for starters while appearing as a normal flat video on other devices. The new file format will support live streaming videos with all 180-degree clips appearing stereoscopically in 3D.
New VR Cameras
Google is currently working with Lenovo, LG and YI to come up with cameras that can work with 360 degree video files. Plans are already underway to unveil the cameras in the winter. Google-owned YouTube will unveil a new set of cameras that creators can use to create VR content.
The unveiling of the new file format comes on the heels of Google unleashing the first update for Google Glass in over three years. Recent developments underscore how serious the tech giant is when it comes to virtual reality.
Google stock was up by 0.97% in Friday’s trading session to end the week at $986.09 a share.