You can’t help but noticing the hype around 360° videos. They are everywhere. At least here in Finland. You can see them in TV news, travel agency ads and music videos. They were kind of an unknown territory for me a few months back. I had an old iPhone that didn’t support 360 videos on Youtube so it took me a while to understand what was going on and I guess the same problem goes for many other people who own older phones these days.
So what are 360 videos? 360 videos are video recordings of a real-world panorama, where the view in every direction is recorded at the same time using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback the viewer has control of the viewing direction, a form of virtual reality. So basically you can decide which direction to look while watching a video by moving the direction you are pointing your mobile phone. Simple right?
The first thing I noticed while watching the early 360 videos I saw was that you could actually see the person who was filming the video in all of the takes. That looked kinda funny, but these day there are really innovative and powerful videos that take the idea of 360 videos to a totally new level. I compiled some of them below for you to see.
This video from IM360 shows how you can use 360 videos to show beautiful scenery so you can take your time to look and enjoy the view. It makes it feel like a game, when your curiosity is awakened and you want to look around. My favorite part is where you can see the horses and elephants running around.
Supercell cleverly used the 360 trend to promote their game Clash of Titans. The 360 trick gives that little extra boost to make the video different and distinguishable.
I haven’t seen many 360 music videos. Or at least not many good ones. Björk and LMFAO tried them out, but they lacked idea and visual aspects. This video from Fort Minor looks okay and I like it more compared to the other ones, but I think it could exploit more the 360 technology, planning better and showing interesting things around the camera. Anyways, the common thing I see in 360 music videos is that they are quite boring. I hope that will change in the future.
Let’s see what the future will bring for 360 videos and all the endless possibilities to give the viewer the power to get a better and more intimate experience watching them. I wanna know more about the VR (virtual reality) and VR cardboard goggles Youtube keeps promoting me. Maybe that will be the next topic of my blog post. Until then, over and out!