Photographers and general snappers have been producing panoramic images for ages, but full 360 degree imagery is still fairly new. With the advent of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMD’s) like the Oculus Rift, photo sharing site Flickr has been experimenting with integrating VR into its service. This past weekend the site was demoing an early preview at the XOXO festival in Portland, Oregon.
Heading up the project is Bertrand Fan, the front-end architect for Flickr, reports Engadget. The demo used an Oculus Rift DK2 HMD for visitors to look at 360 degree images on Flickr. In this early build users looked down at a pair of pink and blue balls for a few moments to skip to the next image. Supposedly the plan will be to have a VR HMD link or button on pages with 360 degree images, so users that already have a HMD can try out the experience. Fan has only been working on the project for a couple of weeks so support is only currently available for the Oculus Rift, but he hopes to add the Samsung Gear VR as well as other VR HMD’s down the line.
With the interest in VR developing there is a growing community of 360 degree image creators on the site, and Fan told Engadget that he wants to add further features to the VR experience, like browsing pictures or organising your image library by simply moving your hands.
VRFocus will continue to follow any further updates on Fan’s progress on implementing Flickr VR and report back.