The 360 degree video, and the way it lends itself to being watched in virtual reality, is becoming one of the biggest technology trends of 2016.
Cameras to record in 360 are beginning to go on sale, while the likes of Facebook and YouTube now support the ability to watch 360 videos on desktop and mobile.
Mark Zuckerberg is a huge fan of the format, having called it “the next social platform” earlier this year. Now he’s shared a new video filmed inside New York’s Grand Central Station, showing the potential of the format to pick viewers up and drop them into the middle of scenes.
As Zuckerberg himself suggests, the video is a glimpse into what a virtual reality movie could feel like, placing the viewer at the centre of the screen.
“Check out this 360 video of Grand Central Terminal in New York City,” he said in a post alongside the video.
“It’s the first 360 video that we produced and filmed ourselves using our new Surround 360 camera. You can tilt your phone to experience different moments happening around you in the terminal. Turn up the sound to know where to look. It’s a preview of what a full-length virtual reality movie will feel like. Instead of watching the action, you’ll be right in the middle of it.”
Yes, some of the farewells and arguments shown in the video are clearly staged for the benefit of the camera, but it’s still pretty cool nonetheless.