YouTube in talks with camera makers to bring live 360-degree videos to platform

3 Feb 2016

360-degree video at broadcast quality could revolutionise how we consume news, sport and entertainment

YouTube is understood to have held meetings with 360-degree camera makers about plans to support live 360-degree videos on its platform.

YouTube, effectively the world’s second-largest search engine, which is currently embroiled in a war against Facebook for the hearts and eyeballs of video consumers worldwide, sees great merit in 360-degree videos.

The video platform began supporting 360-degree videos last March and is understood to be working on creating a live 360-degree feature that could redefine experiences ranging from live sporting events to music, politics and overall news reporting.

YouTube is understood to have held meetings with 360-degree camera makers with a view to expanding the potential of spherical live-streaming by baking it into their products, according to BuzzFeed.

Life in real-time

This means YouTube could soon be populated with high-quality, live 360-degree video footage from a wide range of camera types used by users ranging from the amateur to the professional.

YouTube’s parent company Google last year launched Google Cardboard, which enables smartphone owners to convert their devices into virtual reality headsets and consume content in 360-degree fashion.

While 360-degree cameras can live-stream content, YouTube is keen to urge manufacturers to develop them to a point where they are broadcast quality and capable of stitching together content from various cameras in real-time.

Key to this will be YouTube itself stepping up and developing a set of standards that the industry will embrace.

One camera that can already do this is the GoPro Odyssey, which takes footage from 16 different cameras and stitches it together as it is being uploaded.

360-degre image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years