With Google owned YouTube now offering 360 degree virtual reality (VR) videos via its website and its smartphone app, the video website is building up its position as one of the leading immersive content suppliers. And YouTube’s new engineering chief Matthew Mengerink sees VR as an important step for the future.
During his first interview since joining the Google-owned video site, Mengerink said to Cnet regarding VR video: “That’s the future technology of YouTube.” After he started in his new position he saw some undisclosed VR footage Google has been developing but not publicly released saying: “I saw stuff that just melted my brain.”
Apart from YouTube, Google has been pursuing VR and augmented reality (AR) through various avenues. One of its most successful ideas has been Google Cardboard, the cheap no frills head-mounted display (HMD) that allows users to view the 360 degree videos on YouTube’s app. Recently The New York Times announced it would be supplying its 1.1 million subscribers with Cardboard devices.
As more users start to utilise VR HMDs like Google Cardboard Mengerink wants to attract them to YouTube: “As virtual reality comes into being, how do we make sure people experience it on YouTube first?” said Mengerink. “This is the first inning of a nine-inning game.”
VRFocus will continue to follow the latest news and announcements on YouTube’s VR plans for the future.