Facebook announced that it would add 360 livestreaming capability. This would enable you to broadcast a livestream in 360, giving your friends and followers a view of what it’s like to be where you are at the moment. But which devices are compatible?
Facebook will begin its new 360 livestreaming called Live 360 tomorrow with a 360 livestream from National Geographic tomorrow from the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah at 12pm PST. Eventually, the capability will be rolled out to all Pages and Profiles “in 2017.”
The next question you’re wondering is, which cameras would you be able to use? There are livestreaming cameras such as the Nokia OZO, LivePlanet, or Orah 4i but they are not intended for consumers.
For consumer 360 cameras, there are very few with 360 livestreaming capability. Fortunately, the consumer 360 camera with the best livestreaming capability also happens to be among the most affordable 360 cameras (with or without livestreaming). They are the Insta360 Nano for iPhone ($199) and the upcoming Insta360 Air ($119) for Android.
Insta360 Nano attached to an iPhone 6
Besides its near-4k video resolution, what makes the Nano the best at 360 livestreaming is that it can livestream wirelessly. This makes it possible to do a 360 livestream anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection through your cellphone (or through an available Wi-Fi signal). Check out my in-depth review of the Nano here.
Other 360 consumer cameras with livestreaming require a USB or HDMI connection (e.g. Ricoh Theta S), which works but means you will need a laptop. As for the Air, it’s not out yet (currently available for preorder), but it appears to have the same 360 livestreaming capabilities as the Nano.
The primary limit on the Nano’s livestreaming usability has been the availability of 360 livestreaming services. You can use YouTube, but YouTube’s streaming setup process is not easy to use, and to livestream in 360, you pretty much need help from another person who would need to be in front of a PC. Hopefully, Facebook’s Live 360 is simpler and more elegant, which, combined with the Insta360 Nano’s user-friendliness, could make livestreaming in 360 much easier for everyone.
Update: Another camera that will very likely be able to livestream on Facebook is the new Giroptic iO (hands-on here), a 360 camera accessory for iPhone. I’ve seen it livestream to YouTube which was very simple and easy, and I believe it will also be able to stream on Facebook when Facebook rolls out the feature to the public.