In 2015, and so far in the early months of 2016, 360-degree videos have taken the world by storm. So far people have been able to see these 360-degree videos through such browsers like YouTube and Facebook. Videos are no longer just shot through the perspective of the typical one camera lens. Instead, the new world of virtual reality in these 360-degree videos is shot from a circular glass rig carrying multiple cameras capturing every possible angle all at once to make one 360-degree video. These separate cameras have all of their frames stitched together to make one clear and cohesive 360-degree video for their audience to be able to experience the footage as if they were there. Google has big and bright ambitions for this new technology in the upcoming future with one of their biggest subsidiaries, YouTube. In November, YouTube introduced Google Cardboard which is a virtual reality feature users can turn on for any YouTube video.
The next step in this process of virtual reality is for YouTube to integrate 360-degree videos using all of the new virtual reality products companies are bringing into the market. This new world of watching videos will completely change the media world as we know it, in my opinion. For instance, through the prototypical one camera lens, the media is able to skew exactly what they want their audience to see. With this new world of 360-degree videos, the perspective is in the hands and eyes of the viewer. No longer will everyone be watching the same exact thing broadcasted on their TVs, computers, mobile devices, etc. Each and every individual user of YouTube's 360-degree videos will have their own experience. Of course, the live 360-degree YouTube videos will be down the road in the future, but I think it won't be too long till it is a household phenomenon.
Buzzfeed reported that there is not a projected launch date for these live 360-degree videos on YouTube yet. YouTube is still meeting with virtual reality camera makers and working on possible challenges these real-time 360-degree videos may pose. As I see this new technology being extremely popular in the future, I also see possible flaws to it. We are used to live events showing a broad array of perspectives and angles of events. With the 360-degree video, audiences are limited by the stationary spot the circular rig is placed. However, I still think this new technology will still be successful by giving the audience more control to their viewer needs. This is just a stepping stone towards the future of media entertainment. I personally would love to see this new technology at the 2016 Summer Olympics. I think it would be a great platform to introduce this new wave of technology to the whole world.