Over the last year, 360-degree videos have gained popularity in some high profile places. Most notably YouTube and Facebook have made a big push in the area offering a large library of these immersive videos.
For new Apple TV owners, the Disney-backed company Littlestar, which already has an app for iPhone and iPad, has released the first tvOS app with 360-degree video.
If you aren’t familiar with 360-degree videos, they are videos, as I’m sure you guessed, of the full 360-degree sphere. Camera rigs, such as the one pictured, capture videos of every angle and the footage is then stitched together. You can then move around the video to watch from different viewpoints giving you a semi-virtual reality feel without all of the headgear.
The Littlestar catalogue boasts thousands of videos from companies like Disney, Discovery, MLB, National Geographic and Red Bull just to name a few. The app allows you to use the trackpad on the Siri Remote to scroll around the videos to watch them from all of the different viewpoints.
Littlestar allows anyone to upload 360-degree videos, so if you have a setup capable of producing 360-degree content, Littlestar is a great platform to upload to since the company is pushing its content just about everywhere. Even big names like YouTube have yet to make their 360-degree videos available for the new Apple TV.
Regarding the release of the app, Littlestar’s Chief Product Officer, Tony Mugavero, said, “We wanted to give audiences the ability to consume this content from their living rooms and in a social environment. With Littlstar’s app, users can now view 360 videos on their televisions, and experience immersive video the same way they would a traditional TV program.”
I’m sure you’ve had the cramped experience of huddling around an iPhone screen with four other people to watch a YouTube video. Littlestar’s tvOS app does away with that for 360-degree videos.
I think Mugavero and Littlestar have the right idea by giving viewers the ability to watch 360-degree videos on their television screen. Beyond the enjoyment of consuming content on a bigger screen, being able to share 360-degree videos with a group of people on a TV is quite a step forward.
Littlestar is committed to pushing 360-degree video as far as they can in as many places as they can, as their new Apple TV app shows. The medium is still fairly young but it seems to be catching on and Littlestar has positioned itself to be one of, if not the biggest name in 360-degree video content.
Littlestar’s CEO, Ben Nunez, recently said, “As more and more content creators look to 360 videos and virtual reality to tell stories and connect with consumers, we want to provide them with the widest distribution across platforms.”
Whether Littlestar will become the YouTube of 360-degree content is yet to be determined, but their new Apple TV app is certainly a step in the right direction.