Everything needs to upgrade with time. The latest to join the VR bandwagon is VLC media player. The app which allows one to play video format on any platform has now added support for 360-degree immersive videos. This week, VLC unveiled a technical preview of the feature that allows its desktop app to play the newest format in videos. The preview is currently available for Windows and Mac machines. It is expected that the full VLC version 3.0 will be rolled out at the end of the month.
VLC has collaborated with 360-degree camera maker Giroptic to develop the feature for its app, which can display 360-degree photos, panoramas, and videos. Similar to how one watches 360-degree content on YouTube or social media platforms, all one needs to do is use the mouse and keyboard to control the point of view in the footage when viewing the content on VLC s desktop app. The same capabilities will be extended to all platforms including its mobile apps for iOS, Android and Xbox One through which users will be able to experience content by moving their devices equipped with accelerometer.
Other than existing platforms, the new 360-degree feature of the VLC app will also support VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, Google s Daydream VR headset, and the HTC Vive in the coming year. The app is further getting 360-degree audio support which will include head tracking headphones, which would likely result in a more immersive experience. ALSO READ: Apple CEO Tim Cook shows more faith in AR over VR, says there s no substitute for human contact
It is to be noted that currently, only the technical preview of the feature is out which means it is still short of perfection. For those willing to test the feature, the preview is available on http://streams.videolan.org/ along with some sample videos and images.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are the hottest new fields for the technology explorers. With early failures witnessed through Google Glass, companies have now moved onto offering a more robust hardware and content ecosystem to entice consumers. While companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, HTC, and Samsung all have their own hardware which support a variety of virtual, augmented, or mixed reality technologies, Apple too recently expressed interest in the field and is rumored to be working on bringing the technology to its future smartphones. With popular media platforms such as VLC offering support for immersive content, it could pave way for publishers to create 360-degree content that could be played across platforms.