Wowza continues to be a core technology for powering live 360° event and VR workflows, from the White House to the Oscars; Lollapalooza and corporate events; and more than we even know.
Over the past several years, Wowza
has seen growing interest in virtual reality (VR) and 360° viewing experiences. In the ever-evolving landscape that is live streaming, these technologies are emerging as two of the most innovative trends, powering use cases across industries—from concerts and events to security, education and even live medical surgeries.
Investment in VR and 360° hardware, software and delivery technology has been booming for the past few years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. Facebook led the charge by acquiring Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, and in 2016, released the first consumer VR headset with the Oculus Rift. The Pokemon Go mobile app became a surprise global augmented-reality phenomenon in 2016, with $600 million in revenue just in the first three months.
Today, the world’s largest corporations are all investing heavily in VR and 360° development, including Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung, in addition to Facebook. Even the U.S. Army is beginning to use VR technology to train soldiers.
VR vs. 360°
So, what's the difference between VR and 360° video? VR immerses you in a new, virtual environment that does not physically exist. This environment can be computer-generated through self-contained software that may be downloaded and saved to a machine, or it can be live-streamed; video games are the most common example.
On the other hand, 360° video transports viewers into a real, immersive, live-streaming experience that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to, and that can’t be installed on a machine—for example, a live broadcast of a concert or sporting event that gives viewers a seat from the stands. For the purposes of this post, we'll focus on 360° video, as this is the most applicable for streaming workflows.
Anyone who has used Google Street View or Bing Streetside in a browser has already experienced interactive 360° photography, in which you move through a scene by tapping and panning. You can now have similar experiences with on-demand and live video streams, too—for example, in mobile apps that change the scene based on the position and motion of your device. (Explore 360° videos on the Facebook 360 page.)
The Playback Reality of VR/360°
VR goggles take 360° visual experiences even further by adjusting what you see based on which direction your face is pointing. To these, 360° content creators can add additional sensory cues. For example, platforms such as Virtuix Omni allow you to seemingly walk in any direction. Some players are also integrating 360° audio; while VR goggles still require you to use headphones, they provide accurate, directional sound that match your field of vision (FOV) to what you’re hearing and the source audio.
Click here to read the full article from Wowza