YouTube is releasing live-streamed 360-degree videos.
The streaming service, which initially made VR compatibility available in March 2015, will also introduce spatial audio to coincide with the rollout, which is designed to greatly enhance VR experiences by simulating the effect of sounds coming from different directions and distances.
The Google-owned platform will first implement its new VR facility at multiple concerts as part of the Coachella festival in California.
Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, said, “From musicians to athletes to brands, creators have done some incredible things with this technology.
“Now, they’ll be able to do even more to bring fans directly into their world, with 360-degree live streaming.
“Just as watching a concert in 360 degrees can give you an unmatched immersive experience, spatial audio allows you to listen along as you do in real life, where depth, distance and intensity all play a role.
“We’re working with companies like VideoStitch and Two Big Ears to make their software compatible with 360-degree live streams or spatial audio on YouTube and more will be available soon.”
According to YouTube, using the mouse whilst viewing on a laptop allows users to adjust their perspective, but the full experience can only be enjoyed via smartphone or VR headset, where it becomes ‘more immersive’ due to the way changes in viewpoint correspond to the movement of the device being used.
Mohan added, “What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experiences to everyone. What were once limited experiences are now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”