Exploring Mobile 360 Video

I’ve been exploring the potential of user-generated mobile VR using Google Street View and YouTube 360 video as a cross platform publication framework. This is a rapidly developing environment with most smartphone ecosystems delivering their own slice of the pie. While the Google Street View App allows a user to create 360 degree panoramas via a mobile devices camera stitching multiple images can lead to mixed results. Dedicated 360 degree cameras that link via Bluetooth and wifi to a mobile device App produce better and quicker 360 panorama and spherical image results. These cameras also support 360 degree video capture and sharing via YouTube and the updated YouTube App which now provides Cardboard compatible playback for any video.

The first two mobile 360 cameras available in NZ are the LG 360 Cam and the Samsung Gear 360. We’ve managed to get both of these working on iOS and Android smartphones with both Google Street View and YouTube. Here’s how:

  • Download the Street View App for your smartphone
  • Put your LG 360 or Gear 360 camera in wifi mode
  • Connect your smartphone to the camera wifi network
  • Start the Street View App
  • Click the ‘+’ button to capture an image, choose wifi camera, voila you can preview the cameras 360 image in the Street View App and remotely trigger the shot.
  • Transfer the image to the Street View App via the cameras wifi
  • Add a location
  • Publish to Street View
  • Share the URL

You can also capture 360 images with more options via the cameras dedicated App and then share to Street View.

  • Download the Samsung Gear 360 Manager App (only for specific Galaxy devices) via the Galaxy App – also available in the Google Play Store – although not yet in NZ!
  • The LG 360 Cam manager App is available for both iOS and Android.
  • With these Apps you can also capture and share 360 videos to YouTube for viewing on a wide range of devices

Beware – the LG USB driver for MacOS bricked my El Capitan system – requiring a system reinstall! AVOID – simply transfer files via wifi or micro SD card.

The LG 360 Cam is a better cross platform choice and much easier to throw in your bag than the baseball sized/shaped Gear 360.

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