YouTube adds virtual reality uploads, Cardboard support to its video portfolio

Google-run (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube is moving ahead with support for the nascent virtual reality (VR) format, making it possible for users to upload and view the format on its over-the-top service. The videos currently can be viewed using Google's Cardboard VR viewer and an Android app provided by YouTube.

"Virtual reality (VR) makes the experience of being there even more awesome and immersive, so today we're bringing two new VR features to YouTube's Android app," a YouTube blog post said. "All you need is your current phone, and a Google Cardboard viewer."

No word yet on when the app will be available for iOS phones.

While VR still is seen by some as a gimmicky format in the vein of 3D, the availability of increasingly affordable technology for the average user -- like GoPro's Freedom 360 mounts for its cameras, and the above-mentioned, uber-simple Cardboard viewer, which retails for as little as $24 -- has made it accessible and increasingly popular.

YouTube announced 360-degree videos several months ago, but the latest update makes it possible to upload VR videos and apparently improves compatibility with Cardboard, according to an Android Police article. YouTube currently has about 10 of its own 360-degree videos available to view, according to a Wired article.

For more:
- see this blog post
- see this Android Police article
- see this Wired article

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