Google has found all kinds of uses for its 360-degree images and video since launching it. Now that YouTube supports VR and Google Cardboard as standard, it’s ramping up its efforts to make it more relevant to the every day viewer.
One such effort is its ‘Inside The Game’ video, featuring a behind the scenes look at New England Patriots’ pre-game practicing. But the NFL team isn’t the only one to get in on the VR game, Stanford’s college football team has made a similar video experience, and even offered Cardboard headsets to those in the press-box for its weekend game…
Stanford’s VR efforts featured Heisman Trophy candidate, Christian McCaffrey, one of this year’s hottest college football stars, and was shown during the broadcast of its Pac-12 title game.
As for the Patriots’ practice, Google partnered with VISA to sponsor the video showing tons of pre-game practicing, featuring some cool-onscreen graphics. Being a Brit, my knowledge of the sport and — as a result — my vocabulary is pretty stunted. Still, I found the experience incredibly immersive and entertaining. It’s pretty amazing being right in front of the quarterback as he launches a long throw up field to the receiver.
For the best experience watching either of these videos, you should set the video to at least 720p (the higher, the better) and use a Google Cardboard set with an Android smartphone. If you haven’t got either, you can still interact with the video on your PC or smartphone by clicking and dragging around the screen. Both the Patriots and Stanford videos are below, and they’re pretty awesome. If you have it at a high enough resolution, you might even be able to tell if the balls are slightly deflated (too soon?).
It wasn’t long ago Google made YouTube entirely compatible with Cardboard/VR. At the time it featured an impressive playlist of videos which took fool advantage of the company’s immersive video tech. More recently, Google also added some 360-degree tours to Street View, allowing users to see the effects of climate change first-hand. Those included the metal ice in the Arctic, and dying rare oaks in California.