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Live 360 video streams coming to YouTube this week

Published Apr 18th, 2016 3:14PM EDT
YouTube Live 360 Video Streams
Image: Getty Images

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The VR revolution continues.

On Monday, Google announced that  360-degree live streaming is the latest feature to hit YouTube. It’s been just over a year since YouTube began supporting 360-degree videos on its site, but now creators will be able to stream those videos live, giving viewers an even more immersive experience.

READ MORE: Siri spills the beans on when WWDC 2016 will kick off

If you want to see Live 360 videos in action, you can see the first ever official 360 performance stream from The Verge on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET and then see several Coachella performances in 360 degrees over the weekend.

In an interview with The Verge, Kurt Wilms, a senior product manager at YouTube, talked about how important it was to get this feature into users’ hands as quickly as possible and then work to improve it as time goes on.

Additionally, Wilms notes that virtually anyone will be able to live stream with YouTube’s 360 Live, as it doesn’t require top-of-the-line hardware to run.

“This will work with the kind of high-end cameras that folks like Next VR, but the cool thing is, this will also work with low-end stuff like a Theta [which runs for $350],” Wilms explained. “You can live stream 360 of your kid’s concert, or set up a camera next to the sideline of a soccer game and stream it 180.”

Along with Live 360, YouTube is also introducing spatial audio for on-demand videos on Android today. In other words, depending on which direction you’re facing, you’ll hear the sound change dynamically around you. This feature isn’t supported with Live 360 videos, but you can test it out with this playlist.

“What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experiences to everyone,” writes Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer at YouTube.

“Students can now experience news events in the classroom as they unfold. Travelers can experience faraway sites and explorers can deep-sea dive, all without the physical constraints of the real world. And today’s kids dreaming of going to a basketball game or a concert can access those experiences firsthand, even if they’re far away from the court. What were once limited experiences are now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.