360 Degree Video

360-degree videos are a new form of video art that has almost overtaken 3D technology. The key feature of 360-degree video is the ability to get an all-round view. YouTube has been offering such videos since March 2015, but this form of video creation is now also gradually establishing itself in the business world.

General information

While classic videos are limited to a two-dimensional view, 360-degree videos offer a view from all perspectives, so you can look around to the left, right, top and bottom and get the impression of participating directly in the action with this technical variant. In contrast to virtual reality technology, however, there is no possibility of influencing what is seen or what has happened. For example, the company of a sports pilot, on which different cameras have been mounted, allows him to participate in the flight from take-off to landing. But you can't decide in which direction the plane flies, because the film was shot before and the plot or flight route is unchangeable. But you can freely choose the perspective you want to take[1].

Differentiation and delimitation of 360 degree videos and virtual reality

Often, 360-degree videos and virtual reality are equated in their meaning. However, as mentioned above, the two methods differ from each other. Virtual Reality is a computer-generated and interactive world that completely surrounds the user and appeals to one or more of their senses. One also speaks here of immersive perception. Immersion here describes a state in which the perception of oneself in the real world is reduced and at the same time identification with the virtual world increases. Even if 360-degree videos cannot actively influence the environment or action, we often speak of an immersive experience.

360 degree videos can be summarized under the term 360 degree media, meaning not only videos but also pictures. Companies use these techniques, for example, to present virtual tours of their business on their website. The possibility to decide for oneself which perspective one takes or which of the offered pictures one looks at is called user-centered view. This immersion applies, albeit in different forms and forms, to both virtual reality and 360-degree videos.

In contrast to virtual reality, 360-degree videos do not require virtual reality glasses (VR glasses); they can be viewed on a PC or smartphone without any tools. Virtual reality content, on the other hand, can only be consumed with the aid of VR glasses. With 360-degree video, on the other hand, there is no so-called real-time calculation that regularly renders or updates the created world[2].

Applications, Opportunities and Limits of 360 Degree Videos

The advantages of a 360 degree video are not only the construction of worlds of experience and the associated immersion, but also the intuitive use and simplicity for the user, the possibility to see more than just the superficial and the profitability that results from budget friendliness. However, in comparison to conventional videos, 360-degree videos require quite a lot of production and setup effort. The use of 360-degree videos also requires a certain technical expertise. This applies not only to the producer of the video, but to a certain extent also to the user.

360 degree videos are often used at trade fairs, for presentations of all kinds, as well as for competitions and previews. In addition, more and more companies are deciding to include them in their websites or directly on the YouTube channel. Especially when the user cannot find everything they are supposed to see at a glance, 360-degree videos are ideal for providing a more complete picture[4].

Significance for social media

Since images and videos can have a great impact and reach on social media in particular, the 360-degree video is ideal for marketing measures. However, this requires technical requirements, or - if these are missing - the help of a professional or an agency. All in all, 360-degree videos are on the road to success, which will certainly continue in the future.