What is VR Video Streaming?
Video streaming is a technology that’s been with us for a long time now. It is basically sending continuous streams of data that is the live video being sent in parts but continuously. Over the period of time, the improvements in technology have been vastly to reduce the bandwidth required to transmit the data over the channel. Hence a lot of compression and decompression algorithms have emerged but there was no disruptive improvement in this technology until VR came into picture and started streaming 360-degree video.
A 360-degree video is capable of capturing the content in all directions with multiple frames simultaneously unlike the classical video where you could capture only a particular part of the setting capable of making it in one frame. The frame size is restricted by the field of view of the camera being used to capture. In a 360-degree video, one can capture the setting all around and all at once. While watching a 360-degree video, one can use the direction controls (like the arrow buttons in a PC and swipe feature in a smart phone) to change the frame of view. In a nutshell, capturing the 360-degree video and streaming it to its intended viewers is VR video streaming.
Capturing a 360-degree video
A 360-degree video can be captured using any of the following 2 techniques:
- Using a 360-degree camera which is already available in the market
- By capturing multiple frames at once and then stitching it using software
A 360-degree camera is essentially an array of multiple cameras with predefined resolution and a field of view. Some of the major hardware and tech companies have already come out with their version of 360-degree cameras. Some of the more powerful and popular ones are from Nokia, GoPro, and the latest one from Facebook.
Nokia OZO is the first camera designed for professionals to capture VR videos. This is priced at a whooping $60,000. It’s got an ability to capture 360° spherical video and a 360X360 surround sound claiming to be the best in class so far. It weighs a good 4.2 Kg and it’s video array comprises of 8 synchronized 2K x 2K sensors with an angle of view of 195 degrees per lens. For complete specifications about the Nokia OZO lens, one can view the Nokia OZO website.
Similarly, GoPro has ideated a camera by name Omni. Omni will be an array of 6 cameras that can be used to capture a video and automatically create 360-degree videos. Creating the 360-degree videos can be done by GoPro Kolor software. Omni can be used to capture very high quality 8K video content and can be pre-ordered for a price of $4999.99 from the GoPro website. Facebook has also launched its own VR camera during the last F8 conference.
The other easier option is to capture multiple frames at once from multiple cameras and stitch them together to form a 360-degree video. Some of the options available currently for stitching the video are Video-stitch and Kolor out of many.
360-degree video streaming
As many people have the ability and accessibility to create 360-degree videos. These videos can be shared both at real time and non-real time. Real time streaming of VR videos can be very effective during sporting events or some entertainment events.
Virtual reality is has already proved its advantages and importance through video streaming in many fields. Its advantages in the field of education is endless and being useful to students of all ages. It is being extensively used for training purposes of all genres. Its usage in military makes it easy for the recruits to get their training done under a controlled environment responding to different types of terrains and combat situations. Virtual reality is no doubt a boon for simulation training increasing the safety and economy.
With the help of advancement in technology, especially virtual reality, health care has become very easy using image guided surgery, simulators and augmented reality. With VR the surgical procedures can be monitored and rehearsed being an advantage for patients and surgeons. It has made its place in the medical field where the medical students can gain knowledge by the videos of different surgeries and their techniques demonstrated by doctor’s world wide. Using VR360 degree live streaming videos, cancer surgery was recently performed. It can thus be said that virtual reality is not only user friendly but also very interesting and hence will gain all the likes in e-learning as well. Virtual reality is definitely the utility that we all shall carry in our pockets.