What is the VR180 Standard?

There’s never a boring day in the world of virtual reality technology. Google has introduced a brand new video and audio format for VR. Although it has not been integrated as of yet, the format is now open to any developer or manufacturer. Additional tools for publishing and display options will roll out in the months to come.

The VR180 Standard is Coming

For those unaware of what Google’s VR180 standard is, it is a new format for video and photo content consumed by virtual reality enthusiasts. There are a few intriguing aspects to this new standard. On the video front, VR180 enabled a Camera Moton Metadata Track to stabilize the video after capture. This is something a lot of users and content creators can benefit from in the years to come.

Additionally, the photo content created for VR is written in a backward-compatible format known as VR Photo Format. The left eye’s image is a panoramic JPEG which can be displayed by any viewer supporting this format. The right eye and audio data is stored as metadata. It is an interesting approach by Google.

The big question is who will embrace the new VR180 standard. Right now, there are no developers or hardware manufacturers who make use of this solution. Google has open sourced the standard, though, which should help boost overall adoption of VR180. Furthermore, the company will build tools to help with writing appropriately formatted photos and videos for playback.

As of right now, there is no official release date for such tools. Google has hinted at “somewhere in the coming months”, albeit that remains pretty vague. The first hardware based on the VR180 standard will arrive in early May, thus it would be in Google’s best interest to have the necessary tools available by then.

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