Why YouTube believes VR is next big thing

Google owned YouTube, which attracts over 1 billion views per month, will undoubtedly be key to any evolution that media consumption goes through in the next few years. At the core of this will be virtual reality, and especially with the recent release of the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, consumers will be looking for places to put the capability of VR to the test.

Google is already considering the future when it comes to virtual reality and augmented reality, and YouTube will be at the center of the new technology as it evolves. Virtual reality is already making its mark when it comes to 360-degree videos that occasionally appear on your Facebook News Feed, or perhaps even more rarely on YouTube. It’s not only the company’s behind the platforms that recognise the shift to virtual reality, the content creators for sites like YouTube are already pre-empting the next big thing to enhance their audiences, and the ability to shift perspective when viewing media is something Tom Small, the manager of Google Technology Programs Friday, calls “the next big computing platform”.

In the not too distant future, “ we won’t be looking at our phones,” he added “We’ll remove the screen and interact with data with our fingers, eyes and bodies.”

YouTube film makers were invited to a Virtual Reality storytelling seminar held at the Los Angeles YouTube Production Space, in a session co-presented with the Sundance Institute, to work with experts on how to integrate narrative into a 360-degree medium. The seminar also demonstrated the best camera angles to use when shooting immersive content.

Moira Griffin, senior manager of diversity initiatives for Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, said “If not now, we’re going to be left behind when VR eventually becomes mass market. So instead of having to play catch up, we want to make sure people are in at the early stages, and understand how the technology works.”

When looking at the categories that will be popular in VR, Small pointed to several:

Gaming, adult entertainment, virtual tourism, real estate and journalism topped his list. Many are currently available for viewing on YouTube’s http://youtube.com/360 channel.

Source: USAToday

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