In a bid to push virtual reality experience a step further, YouTube has introduced two new features — 360-degree live streaming and spatial audio to its platform. Organizers of events and festivals could be the ones highly benefited from these new features. One of the very first videos to take complete advantage of this immersive would be the music event Coachella, where select performances will be live streamed in 360-degrees.
For YouTube creators to take complete advantage of 360-degrees videos, they need a specialized camera that supports this technology. Besides this, the process for live streaming remains the same. Additionally, YouTube has also announced support for 1440p 60fps resolution for live streams, which will have 70 percent more pixels compared to standard HD resolution of a full HD video. The increase in resolution and frame rate will not only offer great experience to 360-degrees live streams, but also benefit video game streams on the YouTube Gaming platform.
The spatial audio feature allows listening to audio the same way you actually hear it live, “where depth, distance and intensity all play a role,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer wrote on the blog. Google has also published a sample playlist to give you an idea of how spatial audio works.
However, at launch, the feature will only work with on-demand videos, and won’t support live videos. This also means that the option won’t be part of Coachella concerts. It is also important to note that spatial audio feature is currently limited to Android smartphones and works only when headphones are plugged in.
From an end-user perspective, they don’t need any extra technology to watch the 360-degree live stream. It will be available on their desktops, tablets, Android and iOS devices. This is one thing that makes the feature more accessible to general users compared to the high-end VR headsets that require a lot of investment and efforts to create the content.