As companies prepare to release VR headsets, the technology behind 360 degree videos is already available to users online.

Cover Image via Facebook

Compatible with desktop and mobile devices, 360 degree videos are transitioning users to the incredible future of VR video. We’ve already covered Virtual Reality’s effects on video production, but now you can actually experience VR without a VR headset.

Multiple online platforms are now supporting 360 degree videos. Here’s a look at some of those videos and some ways for you to produce your own content.


Facebook

FB 360 degree videos

Facebook introduced 360 degree video in September of 2015. The 360 degree release comes ahead of the much-anticipated Oculus Rift, which Facebook acquired in 2014.

To announce the release of the update, Facebook released a 360 degree video from the set of the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Immersive 360 ExperienceSpeed across the Jakku desert from Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this immersive 360 experience created exclusively for Facebook.

Posted by Star Wars on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Also uploaded to Facebook were 360 degree videos following NBA superstar Lebron James and the opening of Saturday Night Live SNL40.

Striving For Greatness: An UNINTERRUPTED OriginalI was born with God given talent, but I PROMISE you that when the bright lights go down I am grinding it out and working my tail off to get better. I will never cheat this game…

Catch the full series on UNINTERRUPTED #StriveForGreatness #UNINTERRUPTED #IPROMISE

Posted by LeBron James on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

 

Take a seat in Studio 8H and experience Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s #SNL40 Cold Open like never before — in interactive 360°.

Posted by Saturday Night Live on Wednesday, September 23, 2015


YouTube

YouTube 360

YouTube announced support for 360 degree videos in March of 2015. The desktop version of YouTube gives users the ability to move around the video using their cursor.

More impressive than that, users can control 360 degree videos on their phone and tablets by moving their device. YouTube also encourages users to use Google Cardboard, the affordable VR headpiece made from cardboard, to watch the 360 degree videos.

Here are a few of the first 360 degree videos on YouTube. You can experience the cockpit of a F1 racecar.

Fly in a hot air balloon and watch people in wingsuits jump out.

You can even hop on a runaway couch.


Create 360 Degree Videos

Theta Camera
Image via Ricoh Theta

To film in 360 degrees, you will need a camera designed for shooting Virtual Reality videos. New cameras are constantly being developed, as VR video is the latest up-and-coming venture. Here are three camera options to get started filming in 360 degrees.

Editing in 360 degrees will be no easy task, as the technology is still in the early stages. Companies like Dashwood are allowing you to wear an Oculus Rift to edit in 360 degrees in Premiere Pro and FCPX.

After creating your content, you’ll be able to upload to YouTube, Facebook, or other platforms like VRSE and Samsung Milk VR.


Interested in more on Virtual Reality filmmaking and 360 degree videos? Let us know in the comments below.