Hulu Unveils its First VR App, Content for Samsung Gear VR

Hulu debuted an app for Samsung’s Gear VR now available in the Gear VR Oculus Store, the first of several VR apps for different platforms that the company plans to unveil. The app allows users to watch Hulu’s 2D TV/film content library in a 360-degree immersive environment, choosing from several settings (a living room, a big screen movie theater, a beach). Among original content is Hulu’s first VR film, “The Big One,” produced in partnership with Lionsgate and featuring Freddie Wong and his RocketJump brand. Continue reading Hulu Unveils its First VR App, Content for Samsung Gear VR

Netflix Reveals Content, Tech Plans at Mobile World Congress

In several meetings at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Netflix discussed plans for content and technology plays over the coming months, including the release of a large slate of original programs. The company revealed that it’s keeping an eye on virtual reality as a storytelling tool and is also about to launch a second screen experience, which has been in development for a number of years. The company has also been more forthcoming about its plans to acquire and distribute content in high dynamic range. Continue reading Netflix Reveals Content, Tech Plans at Mobile World Congress

YouTube Announces HDR Video Support, GoPro Partnership

YouTube announced that it would join Netflix and Amazon in supporting high dynamic range technology for its video content. Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer was on stage during CES with GoPro CEO Nick Woodman and Vrse CEO Chris Milk discussing 360-degree video when he mentioned the HDR news. YouTube also plans a partnership with GoPro to deliver more 360-degree content to its online platform. LG, Panasonic and Sony were among the manufacturers in Las Vegas promoting new HDR-compatible TVs. Continue reading YouTube Announces HDR Video Support, GoPro Partnership

YouTube Exec Stands By His Online Video Growth Predictions

During his keynote presentation at CES 2016, YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl expressed continuing confidence in the growth of online video. He believes that people will spend most of their time (outside of working and sleeping) watching digital video. The executive stood by his 2012 predictions that 90 percent of all Internet traffic would be video and 75 percent of all video would be digital by the year 2020. Kyncl also explained how YouTube is evolving and planning to support high dynamic range. Continue reading YouTube Exec Stands By His Online Video Growth Predictions

Virtual Reality Roller Coasters Are Coming to Theme Parks

In 2016, virtual reality will go on a roller coaster ride at several theme parks. Plans for nine VR roller coasters are already slated, with haunted mazes and thrill rides in the planning stages. At the Wonderland amusement park, outside Toronto, Canada, the Thunder Run roller coaster will begin to offer virtual reality headsets, for an added fee, to a limited number of riders. During the off-season, the park tested the VR experience, where riders fly on the back of a fire-breathing dragon over a medieval village. Continue reading Virtual Reality Roller Coasters Are Coming to Theme Parks

CES 2016: Virtual Reality Headgear, Platforms, Ecosystems

Virtual reality began to dominate headlines last year at CES, and that drumbeat will only grow louder this year. Falling at the beginning of the proclaimed release window for two of the flag bearers of the VR renaissance, Oculus and Sony, and accompanied by a bumper crop of hardware and software suppliers, VR is ready to emerge from the shadows of the early adopters and meet the general consumer. We expect to see innovative products in January from companies such as Google, GoPro, HTC, NextVR, Sixense, Yezz and others. Beyond gaming and 360-degree video, we’ll be watching for new approaches to live streaming sports and music events. Continue reading CES 2016: Virtual Reality Headgear, Platforms, Ecosystems

ILMxLAB Debuts ‘Star Wars’ VR Series Ahead of Film Premiere

If you can’t wait until December 18 to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” you’ve got a brand-new 360-degree immersive video series to enjoy. Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB studio, partnered with Google and Verizon, just created a virtual reality experience, “Jakku Spy,” which is available on the official “Star Wars” Android and iOS apps and viewed via Google Cardboard. The VR experience puts the user in the desert world of Jakku, as a Resistance secret agent. New “vignettes” will be available every few days until the film’s debut. Continue reading ILMxLAB Debuts ‘Star Wars’ VR Series Ahead of Film Premiere

LucidCam Developing $299 VR Camera, Partners with Sephora

LucidCam successfully raised $100,000 on Indiegogo from 264 backers, and now is well on its way to creating the camera that sounds too good to be true: a $299 device that’s small enough to fit in a pocket and yet can shoot immersive virtual reality content. The company, headed by chief executive Han Jin, says the LucidCam team is now busy creating partnerships with content creators and brands — its first is with make-up brand Sephora — and reveals that the company will release its first 360-degree 3D video in December. Continue reading LucidCam Developing $299 VR Camera, Partners with Sephora

Nokia’s Revival with Alcatel-Lucent Takeover, OZO VR Camera

On November 30, Nokia introduced its OZO virtual reality camera in Los Angeles. The camera, aimed at professional content creators, features eight 2K-by-2K-resolution cameras, with lenses capable of a 195-degree field of view and spaced at the same distance as between human eyes, as well as eight microphones for 3D audio capture. Weighing 10 pounds and expected to cost $50,000, the OZO is capable of full 360-degree stereoscopic video in real time and its output is compatible with existing VR headsets

Continue reading Nokia’s Revival with Alcatel-Lucent Takeover, OZO VR Camera

YouTube Democratizes VR, Stays a Step Ahead of Competition

YouTube is introducing 360-degree VR videos as well as a virtual movie theater for all YouTube videos. Anyone with a Google Cardboard headset and the Android app can begin viewing the ten or so VR videos that YouTube produced; the iOS app is coming soon. YouTube’s VR features come just before The New York Times ships 1.3 million Google Cardboard sets and its own VR documentary, “The Displaced.” YouTube’s assertive move into VR is widely seen as a way to stay a step ahead of the competition, Facebook in particular. Continue reading YouTube Democratizes VR, Stays a Step Ahead of Competition

Facebook Unveils Plan to Share Revenue with Video Creators

Facebook, which just achieved a milestone of more than a billion daily users, has announced plans to share revenue with Facebook video content owners and launch a news app. The moves are aimed at keeping users on the platform as long as possible, and its competitors have the same goal in mind: Apple has its newsreader Apple News, partnering with The New York Times; Twitter Moments links tweets in a traditional story format; and Snapchat Discover app showcases stories from publishers including CNN, Vice, People and National Geographic. Continue reading Facebook Unveils Plan to Share Revenue with Video Creators

Facebook’s Standalone Video App to Support 360-Degree Video

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has called virtual reality the next computing platform after mobile devices. His company also shelled out $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR last year; the company will ship its Rift headset for consumers in early 2016. So it’s no surprise that the company is reportedly working on a standalone video app to support 360-degree video on multiple platforms, including Apple and Android devices. Zuckerberg has also stated that Facebook would support 360-degree video in its newsfeed. Continue reading Facebook’s Standalone Video App to Support 360-Degree Video

Discovery Releases Mobile App for VR Videos of Popular Shows

The Discovery Channel has released a mobile app that features virtual reality videos from some of the channel’s most popular shows, including “Mythbusters,” “Gold Rush” and “Survivorman.” The videos can be viewed as 360-degree experiences (via moving the phone), or as VR experiences with Google Cardboard. The videos, which were made by Los Angeles VR network startup Littlstar, are also available on YouTube, Discovery’s VR website, and a dedicated channel on Samsung Gear’s virtual reality video app Milk VR. Continue reading Discovery Releases Mobile App for VR Videos of Popular Shows

Nokia Introduces 360-Degree VR Camera for Pro Filmmakers

Nokia Technologies launched a 360-degree 3D VR camera targeted at professional content creators, and, in the process, rebranded itself. The company sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2013. The new VR camera, dubbed OZO, which was unveiled in Hollywood and is slated for a Fall 2015 release, features eight lenses, each of which captures 2Kx2K resolution, and eight microphones to capture and create spatial audio. Nokia also plans to enable live broadcasting to VR headsets. Continue reading Nokia Introduces 360-Degree VR Camera for Pro Filmmakers

YouTube Offers Incentives to Compete for Top Video Creators

At VidCon, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki reached out to the video creator community with an array of enticements. That’s because, although YouTube may be the biggest player in user-generated content — including the properties that reach stratospheric views — the Google-owned company now has plenty of competition. Facebook, Periscope and Vine are just some of the platforms wooing video creators who have created successful properties, and YouTube unveiled efforts to keep these creators on its site. Continue reading YouTube Offers Incentives to Compete for Top Video Creators

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