The hype for virtual reality (VR) is real and, since it has become a serious contender, is already pushing big content players to really consider creating platforms that can create highly immersive experiences. YouTube, in its latest VR foray, has introduced proper 360° livestreaming and spatial audio capabilities.
Building upon its 360° video offering, which it launched in March 2015, the new feature that YouTube introduced allow creators to expand their repertoire further as they can now invite their followers onto a livestream that is like no other.
Where current technologies and platforms allow for direct livestreaming of events and content, it is usually done through one source that taps onto multiple cameras. What YouTube is introducing is a new livestreaming format that literally brings its users right into the middle of the action. When engaged, the sound staging for selected YouTube 360° content will be given a literal surround sound character that adds in some level of depth, distance, and intensity to create a true immersive audio experience.
YouTube achieves this with the help of the spatial audio sound system it put together specifically for the 360° livestreaming system. For those who want to listen in and experience how that special sound system works, here is a playlist that can be used – headphones is a must – to experience what the future holds:
YouTube is able to bring out this new feature thanks to the collaboration it has initiated, via Google, with VideoStitch and Two Big Ears – two renowned software companies that have been working extensively with 360° video and audio platforms and systems. It is through these deep partnerships that YouTube creators are able to tell their stories in a more unique and highly interactive manner.
Even if both 360° livestream and spatial audio are now available on YouTube, only the former is readily available for general public use with the right YouTube apporved equipment. The latter, for the time being, is only open for use with on-demand YouTube videos. Those keen to tap onto both at the same time have to go to any of the known YouTube Space locations.