Get ready to change your perspective on what video can be.
Look up, down, around or side-to-side -- footage is coming at you from all angles. From the outside, 360-degree video looks deceptively simple. Set up a few cameras in a circle, make them record at the same time, then sit back and watch as the footage comes together in an immersive, all-encompassing visual experience.
Behind this simple premise lies a lot of computational smarts. Earlier this year at Google's developer conference, the search giant unveiled a system calledthat consists of an assembler and a specially designed rig to accommodate 16 GoPro cameras. The assembler automatically stitches together all of this footage into stereoscopic video for VR headsets such as Google's own .
Jump is just one of the many ways 360-degree video is crossing over into the mainstream. YouTube has a channel dedicated to showcasing 360-degree videos from professional publishers, but everyday users like you and I can make these videos right now by buying a relatively inexpensive camera such as the .
The potential for changing the way directors and scriptwriters tell stories is just one of the many exciting applications for 360-degree video. Imagine having one storyline play out when you are looking straight ahead, but another narrative plays out right behind you.
It's time to get excited. 360-degree video is right here, right now.