Immersive, or 360 videos are seeing more mainstream use with the increasing popularity of virtual reality devices. These panoramic, stitched-together videos give viewers a glimpse at a topic from every angle, bringing to life the topic at hand. Video consumption is rising, too. Every month, more video content is uploaded than the three major U.S. TV networks combined have created in 30 years combined. That rise in user-generated content, along with virtual reality headset ownership, is impacting consumer expectations.
So what’s next for immersive video content? Take a look at a few innovative ways 360-degree video is changing how people record, watch and interact with content.
The travel industry has long created videos to entice consumers to plan trips based on what they see in the content. The rise of 360 videos has elevated what travel agents and tourism bureaus are able to showcase by giving a more thorough, meaningful look at the places people want to go. The end goal, of course, is to be inspired enough to plan a trip to the locations featured; even void of an airplane or train ticket, though, 360 videos inform travelers in new, engaging ways – planting the seed for future travel plans.
Come face to face with the largest land animal on the planet, the African elephant. This herd of giants takes a detour to investigate a stranger in their midst.
Fans of the summer Olympics can enjoy an immersive watching experience, even if they can’t make it to Rio. Several media outlets are using 360 videos to tell the stories of the games in up-close ways. The BBC is experimenting with live streaming 360 video content for select sports that include boxing, basketball, and beach volleyball. Sports Illustrated is using 360-degree video technology to profile athletes and scenes in Rio. Time is tapping the immersive video to give at-home viewers a 360-degree virtual tour of Rio. Beyond Rio, 360 video experimentation is happening in other sports venues, from immersive video poker tournaments to a 360 experience in an Indianapolis 500 race car. Will the success of these experiments mean more 360 viewing options for everyday sports?
Take the pitch as Brazil’s #10. Experience The Neymar Jr. The effect in Virtual Reality.
Source: Nike Football
The opportunities for 360-degree video in education are vast. From preschool to college courses, immersive videos offer a closer look at topics and places from the lesson plan. Some of this 360 video viewing will happen on tablets and computer screens, while some will happen behind virtual reality devices. Google’s pilot Expedition program takes students and teachers on journeys to 150 locations, all from behind the Cardboard VR device. The more engaging the content, the better chance a student will retain what is presented. The immersive video leaves a lasting impression, making it an excellent fit for educational settings.
Take a 360-degree virtual tour of our Solar System, with the help of Crash Course Astronomy host Phil Plait!
It’s clear that 360 videos are elevating viewing expectations. As volume increases, expect accessibility and quality to rise too. Will 360 videos soon be the norm? We’re a few years out from knowing for sure but it will certainly be fun to watch.