The First 360-Degree Interactive Videos Have Arrived on YouTube

Virtual reality is posed to become one of the next big things in the tech world, and YouTube is preparing itself for that future. The video hosting service announced today that it is starting to support 360-degree video uploads to allow for immersive video experiences.

The video above is one of the first 360-degree videos available. Watch it in Google’s Chrome browser or through the YouTube app on Android for the full experience.

You can “look around” in the video by using the directional controls in the upper left, by dragging your mouse around in the video window, or by using your A, W, S, and D keys on your keyboard.

Here are the other initial videos that were made available at the time of the announcement:

Google says support for these interactive videos is coming to iPhone, iPad, and other devices shortly. We’re guessing the virtual reality headsets that are being developed by electronics companies will be compatible with this type of video as well.

If you’d like to shoot YouTube-compatible 360-degree videos yourself, here’s a list of compatible cameras (with more on the way): Bublcam, Giroptic’s 360cam, IC Real Tech’s Allie, Kodak’s SP360 and RICOH THETA. More technical details about preparing compatible videos can be found here.

The quality of the videos above isn’t the best, but this is a pretty interesting first taste of something big that’s coming.