Imagine watching your favourite football team in action and you get to see the game from all possible angles using Cardboard, that too live. Google could soon make this happen.
According to BuzzFeed, the tech giant is mulling over a whole new 360-degree live video streaming concept to give virtual reality (VR) a new dimension. The company's video service, YouTube, may start live streaming 360-degree videos, instead of showing recorded ones.
Google has made its interest in three-dimensional imaging extremely clear and the popularity of Google Cardboard has become the easiest way to experience the VR world. YouTube executives reportedly held secret meetings with 360-degree camera manufacturers to discuss future partnerships and inclusion of spherical live streaming into their products.
The end product, YouTube hopes to deliver, is a platform that can handle high-quality, live 360-degree videos, regardless of what camera or who is shooting them. As of now apps like Meerkat, Periscope, and Facebook's Live Video offer live streaming, but live stream 360-degree videos will be an entirely new concept.
In November 2015, YouTube introduced "virtual reality videos" exclusively for Cardboard users. This gave videos a sense of depth, which was not possible with straightforward 360-degree videos. But here the videos were either prerecorded or were already available on YouTube.
If the new platform comes into existence, it would mean ingesting feeds from all types of cameras without prior knowledge of each camera's specs and idiosyncrasies. Alternatively, Google could ask all 360-degree camera manufacturers to maintain standard specifications that will make it compatible with their streaming service.
Further, as a 360-degree video is created – from multiple videos – it needs to be spliced together, which is done in post-production to create a spherical image. Live-streaming a 360-degree video means the stitching process of these shots will need to occur in real time.
Working on these lines, Google hopes to address the technical difficulties associated with the far-fetched but promising platform.