If you follow this page by now you are probably aware of 360 videos and 360 photographs, but what actually are they? What is a 360 video? How are 360 photos made? Can I make them myself? In this quick guide, we very briefly cover what exactly 360 media is, how it is made and how it can be used.
What is 360 media?
Imagine you are looking at a regular photo or video. It has a clear edge and you can only see what the camera is focusing on. 360 media expands upon traditional photo/video by capturing everything in 360°. It also grants agency to the viewer by allowing them to look around and choose their own focus point. 360 media can be viewed on phones, tablets and computers as an interactive file, as exampled below if you click on the image. Alternatively 360 media can be viewed using a VR headset – a much more immersive experience that gives you a feeling of actually being present in the shot.
How is 360 media made?
360 cameras are used to create both 360 photos and 360 videos. There is currently a wide range of 360 cameras on the market. Towards the lower end you have products such as the Insta360 Air:
This can be attached to your phone and makes the entire process of capturing and sharing 360 media easy. However, it only has two lenses and the image quality will be a lot less when compared to the other side of the spectrum. This includes professional products such as the Insta360 Titan:
While there are various camera designs with varying features (such as the number of cameras or the quality of captured footage) the common feature is that 360 cameras use multiple cameras to capture a scene in all directions – in 360° – hence the name. After capturing footage using a 360 camera the output is run through software to ‘stitch’ the various camera’s footage into one cohesive image or video.
360 photos can also be created with smartphones by utilising various apps, such as with the Facebook Mobile App or Google Street View. Additionally, some devices come with software ready to take a 360 photo such as:
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- Note 3
- iPhone 4S
- iPad Mini 2
- iPad Air
- iPad Pro
For these phones any newer models of these products will also come with the ability to take a 360 photo, which can be created with the Panorama shooting style.
Using 360 media
360 media has a wide range of uses and as it is a newly emerging media format applications are being found in a growing number of industries. The true potential of 360 media has not been recognised and as time progresses it is likely to be used in ever more creative ways to help promote ideas, organisations and individuals.
So if you do run a business, how could you actually use this technology right now? Well, let’s take an example. The travel and tourism industry is one of the first big early adopters of 360 media, so let’s say you run a business in the Whitsundays that offers diving tours of the Great Barrier Reef.
Firstly, you could have 360 Photographs taken of your store, boat and the reef locations you visit. These would make for excellent promotional material on your social media channels, website and Google Maps listing.
A 360 Video advertisement that takes people along for a dive and showcases your tour packages would look stunning and would surely go down a treat on social media. Perhaps something like this:
Using 360 photos or 360 videos, a Virtual Tour could be created that links various locations in your tour together. Virtual Tours are great for giving people a sample of what you offer, as well as offering additional information through points of interest pop ups or voice overs.
Hosting a 360 Live Stream on your preferred social media platform is an excellent way to engage directly with your fans, attract potential new customers and of course showcase off the beautiful reefs. You could even have viewer interaction by allowing viewers to dictate in which direction to explore the reef.
Finally, if you attended a trade show or other event you could have a VR booth set up. This would allow people an opportunity to put on a VR headset and experience a 360 video highlight reel, giving them a much more engaging experience when compared to traditional video as viewers feel more like they are actually present in the scenes captured.
So there you have it! Five ways 360 media could be incorporated into this example business. Most businesses can utilise at least one of these methods for promoting themselves and many can even use all five. At Virtual Dream we offer all these services so if you have any further questions either follow the web links above for more information or get into contact with us directly.
The future looks promising for 360 media and it will be fascinating to watch as the entire field of immersive technologies progresses. We hope you will join us in exploring this exciting new media format.