If we’ve learned anything in the past 10+ years at YouTube it’s that capturing and sharing videos is a great way to bring people there with you—whether “there” is an Icelandic glacier, a special performance by violinist Tim Fain, or just a friend’s birthday party.
Virtual reality (VR) makes the experience of being there even more awesome and immersive, so today we’re bringing two new VR features to YouTube’s Android app. All you need is your current phone, and a Google Cardboard viewer.
First, YouTube now supports VR video—a brand new kind of video that makes you feel like you’re actually there. Using the same tricks that we humans use to see the world, VR video gives you a sense of depth as you look around in every direction. Near things look near, far things look far. So if you were excited about 360° videos, this is pretty freakin’ cool.
To give it a try just find a VR video on YouTube—like the Hunger Games Experience or TOMS Shoes Giving Trip—tap the new Cardboard icon, drop your phone into your Cardboard viewer, and you’re off! If you’re a creator, you can also check out technologies like Jump to capture and share your own VR videos.
Check out this and more VR videos here. Our second bit of news is for the universe of existing YouTube content. And that’s the fact that you can now watch any video using Google Cardboard, and experience a kind of virtual movie theater. Just select the new “Cardboard” option from the watch page menu, drop your phone into your viewer, and you’re done. You’ll now have the largest VR content library right at your fingertips.
Both of today’s updates make it easier to be there. In some cases, really there there. So download the new YouTube app from Google Play, and get going.