YouTube and parent company Google have announced a new dedicated virtual reality app that will let you use some of your favourite apps in VR.
Since introducing support for 360-degree videos on YouTube last March Google have been enhancing the feature with 360 live streaming, 3D audio, and various other improvements. Now the past year of experimenting with VR videos has culminated into ‘Daydream’, an upcoming app from Google that provides a dedicated VR experience.
Announced at Google I/O yesterday Daydream is set to launch towards the end of this year. The app won’t just be a home to the “world’s largest collection of VR videos” (YouTube’s claim) but will allow you to use certain apps in virtual reality. Watch the Baseball in 1st person with the MLB app, travel the world in Google Street View, and plenty more.
In a blog post YouTube virtual reality’s senior product manager, Kurt Wilms said: “We’ve been working with some amazing creators to experiment with new formats that offer a wide range of virtual experiences. We’re already collaborating with the NBA, BuzzFeed and Tastemade to explore new ways of storytelling in virtual environments that will provide valuable lessons about the way creators and viewers interact with VR video.”
Daydream will retain a lot of the main YouTube app’s features like voice search, discovery options and playlists. YouTube say the app will feature “everything from classic 16×9 videos to 260-degree footage to cutting-edge VR experiences in full 3D”. YouTube’s VR experience spreads to Coachella performances, artist interviews, and even videos that aren’t 360-degrees can be experienced with Google Cardboard. Whether support will be added for Google’s VR experiences outside of YouTube isn’t currently clear, like their ‘Inside Abbey Road Studios‘ app.
YouTube are also working with camera developers to enhance upon VR and 360 camera tech like the GoPro Odyssey. They’re also launching a ‘Jump program’ at their YouTube Spaces around the world to allow more creators to use VR tech, starting in New York and Los Angeles with all the other YouTube Space’s to get it soon.
There’s no specific launch date for Daydream beyond “Fall 2016”. Kurt Wilms closed the blog post saying: “We’re just beginning to understand what a truly immersive VR experience can bring to fans of YouTube, but we’re looking forward to making that future a (virtual) reality.”