June 11, 2016 (LBO) – 360 degree videos, also known as immersive videos, are expected to revolutionize filmmaking, social media videos and news reporting, with Facebook this week allowing 360 photos to be uploaded by users.
The technology is fast growing in popularity with several affordable cameras available on the market. The video from BBC below demonstrates the technology where users can browse within the video.
Facebook said on its blog: “We introduced photos on Facebook more than a decade ago, and they quickly became one of the main ways that people share their experiences with their friends and the world. Hundreds of millions of photos are shared on Facebook each day, from fun snapshots to photos of major life milestones, and everything in between.”
“Today, we’re improving photos on Facebook so that people can share more immersive views of their world.”
Users can now simply take a panorama with a phone or capture a 360-degree photo using a 360 photo app or 360 camera, and post it on Facebook like a normal photo.
Facebook will then convert it to an immersive 360 photo that people can explore, similar to how people experience 360 videos on Facebook.
The technology is set to transform filmmaking and news reporting, and some news crews have already hit the road with their 360 cameras.
In terms of the gear you need, there are several options such as the LG 360 CAM or the Ricoh Theta S. The LG 360 CAM appears to be the cheapest on the market, priced at around 285 US dollars.
The LG 360 CAM is their virtual reality-shooting camera, launched as a ‘friend’ to the G5 phone alongside its 360 VR headset. But owning a LG phone isn’t a prerequisite, and it can be used with an iPhone or, with some effort, on its own, reviewers say.
The camera has two sensors pointing in opposite directions, one on each side, and both are equipped with a fish-eye lens so that together they capture the full spherical 360-degree image. LG doesn’t provide much in the way of details about what is inside, but with 13-megapixels each lens has a 206-degree view.