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Home / News / YouTube embraces Cardboard VR, adding depth to Android videos

YouTube embraces Cardboard VR, adding depth to Android videos

Plus, flat videos can now be viewed in a virtual cinema of sorts

Google Cardboard seemed like a silly gimmick when it launched last summer, but a year-plus and more than a million viewers distributed since, it’s kind of a big deal. And now YouTube is ready to make the most of it.

YouTube has featured 360-degree videos for a while now, but they’ve effectively been flat images stitched together to resemble a world. But thanks to a new update rolling out today, YouTube for Android now allows full VR video on the service, which means you’ll be able to see real depth in the world with a VR viewer.

“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,” explains an official blog post about the addition. There don’t seem to be a ton of videos that fit the mold just yet, but here’s a playlist with some examples to scope out.

And with this new update, truly anything on YouTube is a Cardboard-viewable video. For traditional videos, YouTube has added a virtual cinema option, letting you view the clip as if it were projected on a wall in a darkened room. It’s the first step towards the future in which we never take our VR headsets off for anything, so we probably ought to embrace it now.

The app update is rolling out to Android now, so keep a look out for it if you want to feast your eyes on some juicy mobile VR video. There’s no word yet on iPhone support for this brand of VR video.

[Source: YouTube Blog]

Profile image of Andrew Hayward Andrew Hayward Freelance Writer


Andrew writes features, news stories, reviews, and other pieces, often when the UK home team is off-duty or asleep. I'm based in Chicago with my lovely wife, amazing son, and silly cats, and my writing about games, gadgets, esports, apps, and plenty more has appeared in more than 75 publications since 2006.

Areas of expertise

Video games, gadgets, apps, smart home

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