There have been massive strides in the world of VR and 360-degree video. Continuing to lead the way are giants YouTube and Facebook.

Top image via Facebook

VR content and 360-degree videos are truly amazing, but the lack of original content may be the downfall of VR devices. Those first introduced to a VR headset can easily watch all of the best content in a matter of hours. It will be up to YouTube and Facebook video producers to create enough content. That’s why many stories will alway include the VR platforms built by these two companies.

YouTube VR and Google Cardboard come to iOS

The State of VR and 360-Degree Video (May 2016) - Google Cardboard
Image via Google

Months after Android users first received the VR update to their YouTube apps, an update has finally rolled out to Apple iOS. Apple users were previously limited to a very select few VR apps, like NYT VR from The New York Times.

Though not an update that caused national headlines, YouTube VR for iOS is a massive shift in the industry. Now seemingly everyone with a smart phone has the capability to watch VR content.

Download the updated iOS YouTube App.

Adobe Brings VR to Premiere Pro

One of the bigger Adobe announcements from NAB 2016 was the Premiere Pro update adding native VR capabilities. Video editors can now import equirectangular stitched footage into the new VR Video mode. The program offers full pan-and-tilt controls, allowing free panning to see the project through the viewer’s eyes. The update also adds metadata flags for compatibility with VR sites like YouTube and Facebook.

YouTube Announces Live 360-Degree Streaming and Spatial Audio

Another major VR update from NAB 2016 was the release of spatial audio on YouTube. This allows users to hear the audio adjust in relation to their movement — turn left and the audio on the left side become more clear and focused.

Just as watching a concert in 360 degrees can give you an unmatched immersive experience, spatial audio allows you to listen along as you do in real life, where depth, distance and intensity all play a role. – Neal Mohan, YouTube Chief Product Officer

YouTube also announced a future update that will allow live streaming of 360-degree video content. The live streams are currently being tested by select users. Other companies are also experimenting with live streams, as Samsung Gear VR displayed a 180-degree live stream of the NCAA Final Four.

Facebook Acquires Spatial Audio Company

Not to be outdone by YouTube, Facebook also announced updates to the audio in VR content. The company acquired Two Big Ears, a startup focused on creating immersive VR audio with its Spatial Workstation. The program is a free software suite that allows users to add spatial audio that will work on any device and platform.

You can experience Facebook’s spatial audio in the company’s first feature VR film that was shot on the Surround 360 camera. The video was shot back in March at Grand Central Station. It was filmed between 2AM and 5:30AM while the station was closed. It took five weeks to shoot and edit the feature.


Have you been creating VR and 360 degree content? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.