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Google invites you to capture the world as you see it with Google VR180; new cameras announced from partners

At Vidcon 2017, Google announced VR180 videos and cameras, which are 180-degree 3D videos and cameras that can capture the world from your point of view.
VR180 videos are 180-degree 3D videos, similar to 3D 360 videos but only showing a forward-facing view.  While that may seem like significantly smaller view than 3D 360 videos, heatmaps show that most viewers view videos only looking at the forward view.

Here is a playlist of sample VR180 videos (to see them in 3D, you’ll need to view them with a Google Cardboard or similar viewer):

VR180 appears to be a separate format from the standard equirectangular 360 videos.  If you watch the video above without cardboard, you cannot look around the video the way you can with a hemispherical 360 video (such as from Entapano).  Instead, the perspective is fixed until you click on the cardboard icon, which enables gyro viewing.  I am supposing it uses a special tag in its 360 metadata so that on Youtube, the non-360 view has a fixed perspective.

Google has partnered with Yi Technology, Lenovo, and LG to create the VR180 cameras, which are designed to be easily portable and user-friendly.  The cameras are going to be released this winter.  You can sign up to be notified of Yi’s VR180 camera here.

UPDATE: Here is a hands-on report on the Yi Horizon from CES 2018.

Here is the official Google announcement.  What do you think of VR180?  Will 3D finally go mainstream?  Does it help or hinder interest in 360 photos and videos?  Let me know what you think in the comments!

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  • So, basically, glorified 3D video.
    The only real difference is a 180 degree perspective.

    Tell me what I’m missing, please.

    • Rich the difference is that you can look around, but only up to 0 and 180 degrees, whereas 3D locks you into 1 view

      • Yup. 3D, using two 180 degree lenses.
        I hate to say it, but the problem with viewers of 360 (whether 3D, or not) not moving their gaze throughout a 360 video is not the fault of the viewer, but rather the fault of the video producer, at least on the videos that I’ve seen. Most producers, again of the videos I’ve seen, tend to treat 360 video the same way traditional video is treated, by framing the action.
        I don’t believe that this “VR180” is going to be any big deal, if producers can get their head around the idea of what 360 actually means.

        • yes that’s true content creators are still learning to think outside the frame as it were. But VR180 is not just SBS 180 degrees. It’s more similar to 360 video, except that when they look backward, they see nothing. But then again, very few would look backward. And VR180 composition should be easier and more analogous to traditional composition, I think.