Remember when we once thought the world was flat? It’s laughable to think how naive we were, but once you’ve experienced a 360-degree video, you will never want to go back to a two-dimensional world ever again.
With YouTube and Facebook’s recent announcement to begin supporting 360-degree videos on their social platforms, access to seeing the world is now right in your hands. We can finally view outside of the frame without physically being there, making this format even more functional than GIFs.
The way we see the world is forever changed. Once more people start posting 360-degree videos on our news feeds, we’ll become immersed in and able to interact with their surroundings from all angles, giving us a better sense of the situation. It’s even better than watching a GoPro video because you, as the viewer, can control the angles you want to see. Gone are the days of seeing things in front of you, here are the days where you can see beside and behind you. Think of the experiences you can have by watching a live concert as if you’re right there, rather than watching a plain-old livestream of it; or observing the raw surroundings of a war that’s happening on the other side of world.
Since the rise of Oculus Rift, people are finding more and more ways to discover virtual reality. It can be a very strange, yet exciting feeling to step into a world that doesn’t actually exist in front of you. Virtual reality is no longer just for gamers to play in a fictional realm. Anyone can use virtual reality to explore parts of the world that weren’t accessible to them before. A documentary film series like Polar Sea 360 is a prime example, allowing viewers to explore the arctic landscape that isn’t easy to travel to. The documentary was even more accessible when it was adapted into an app of 360-degree videos where they can be easily viewed on a smartphone, making it more comfortable for the average person to use compared to the Oculus Rift.
Although it may seem to deter us from going out and exploring the world ourselves, for many 360 degree videos will provide an opportunity for them to experience something rather than nothing. Even though losing human contact with physical realities can raise a problem for virtual experiences, there is still a connection made with what’s on the screen, which is a simple start for those who aren’t comfortable with real interactions. It’s easy to say we’ll leave the house, pack our bags and see the world, but to actually do so without any problems is often unrealistic.
Ultimately you should ask yourself this: Why should we continue to view moving images on a flat screen if it doesn’t even show us everything? Capturing the world and our reality means seeing the full picture and not just what’s in the frame. While creating and filming entirely in 360-degrees will still take more time and progress, experiencing it whenever you want is now easier than ever.