What Is 360 Degree Video

What Is 360 Degree Video, Anyway?

Feb 9, 2017

Have you ever watched a film and wished you could magically transport yourself to that sandy beach or epic concert or thrilling boxing match captured on-screen? 360 Degree Video allows you to do just that.

Sort of.

In a nutshell, 360 degree videos are videos that place you in the director’s chair of a cinematic experience and let you look in any direction you choose. Unlike traditional fixed-frame videos, which limit your view to wherever the camera is pointing, 360 degree videos offer a full 360º x 180º panoramic field of view – placing you in the center of the action, completely surrounded by sights and sounds. They let you look up, down, and all around so you can explore a scene from any perspective you choose.

How to Watch 360 Degree Video

There are a number of ways to watch 360 Degree Video that offer a broad range of experiences. From VR headsets that offer the most jaw-dropping experiences to 360 web players on popular sites like Facebook and Youtube, you can enjoy 360 degree videos whether or not you own any VR equipment. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to watch them.

VR Headset
The best, most immersive way to watch 360 degree videos is with a VR headset like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Although headsets like these can be quite pricey, they offer a totally captivating experience that truly puts you in the middle of the action. With a VR headset, you can adjust your view simply by turning your head – as if you were really there.

Google Cardboard
For a similar experience at a fraction of the price, Google Cardboard turns your mobile phone into a VR headset with the help of a simple cardboard viewer. Although you’ll have to hold the viewer in place with your hands and cardboard isn’t quite as comfortable as a cushioned headset, the Google Cardboard experience is surprisingly good.

Mobile Phone
If you don’t have access to any type of VR headset, you can still enjoy 360 degree videos with your mobile phone. There are two ways to this. The first is to use your phone as a “magic window” of sorts. In this mode, you point your phone in whatever direction you wish to look, just as if you were recording your own video. The second is to simply tap and drag on the video to control change perspective.

Web Player
The final way to watch 360 degree videos is with a web player like those available on both Facebook and YouTube. To change your perspective, you simply click and drag on the video. Although this isn’t a true 3D experience, it’s a quick and easy way to explore 360 degree videos and get a feel for what they can offer.

See for Yourself

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and although we’re not quite sure how many words a 360-degree video is worth, we assume it’s a lot. So now that you’re familiar with what a 360 Degree Video is, check out the video below. It’s one we shot for Downy Unstopables, and it’s full of breathtaking views of Hawaii’s coastline. Simply click and drag to change your view, and bookmark it for whenever you need a quick getaway.

If you’re curious about the benefits of 360 Video for your brand, learn more about our 360 Video Production services here.