3 min read

3 Common Myths about 360° Video & VR


1. Virtual reality and 360° video are the same thing.

Although commonly used interchangeably, 360° video and virtual reality are related but not the same. 360° video is a special format for capturing video that can be viewed using a virtual reality headset, but can also be viewed online or on your phone. Both Facebook and Youtube support 360° video, for example, but viewing a 360° video on Facebook or Youtube is not virtual reality. That requires a virtual reality headset like an Oculus or Samsung Gear VR and can include 360° video as well as CGI.

Want to see the difference between VR and 360° video for yourself? Watch the New York Times’ 360° video, The Displaced, on your mobile phone. Then experience virtual reality by viewing it with a VR headset or Google Cardboard.

2. Virtual reality is just a fad.

Just like color and sound was for films, virtual reality is a platform shift. VR and AR are as important as sound was to film.
Bryn Mooser, CEO and Founder of VR Studio RYOT

Despite being all the rage back in the ’90s, interest in virtual reality quickly flamed out due to sub-par technology and obscenely high price points. Fast forward to 2016 and things have certainly changed. Technology has advanced to the point that virtual reality seems much more, well, REAL, and people are finding it incredibly addicting. Since Facebook and Youtube began supporting 360° in 2015, consumers have watched nearly 1.5 million hours of 360° video. And it won’t stop there. 200 million VR headsets will be sold by 2020! VR and 360° video won’t be going away anytime soon — but you can expect the headsets to get less clunky.

guidebook graph

3. Virtual reality isn’t social.

Some people are crying doomsday and warning of a dark future where virtual reality isolates us all, but that’s not going to happen. As VR continues to gain popularity, it will become more social, and we’ll bring our already online interactions into virtual spaces. VR creators are inventing more accurate ways to track eye and hand movements that bring us even closer to real life. Whether you’re gathering together to play games, visiting Paris, or just sitting around a living room to chat, eventually VR will make you feel like you’re in the same place with family and friends no matter your location.

VR will ultimately become a subset of mixed reality or augmented reality.
Ari Kuschnir, Founder of new wave production and entertainment company M ss ng P eces

And as social VR goes mainstream, so will augmented reality — the overlaying of virtual elements onto the real world. There’s no better example of this than the super popular Pokémon Go game, which gets people outside to socialize and catch virtual Pokémon together.

Pokémon caught by the New York Storyhunter Team

Learn more about producing 360° video and VR in our latest guidebook, “Storytelling in a Virtual World.”