The competition for live video is getting intense by the day. Following on the heels of YouTube’s launch of 4K video last month, Facebook has announced 360-degree live video.
The company on Monday announced that the National Geographic’s Facebook Page will publish the first ever Live video on its platform on Tuesday at noon pacific time. The broadcast time has been timed to coincide with the emergence of scientists from 80 days of isolation in pods at Utah’s Mars landscape and interviews with the researchers. “Today, we’re excited to announce a new way to go live on Facebook: Live 360,” Facebook said.
Truly, tomorrow’s event is a perfect way to introduce 360 video considering the fact that the technology is designed to provide viewers an opportunity to view live events as they happen around the world:
“Live video on Facebook gives people an immediate, authentic window into what’s happening in the world right now; 360 video immerses viewers fully into the scene, letting them explore on their own and experience a new environment. We’re excited to combine these two formats with Live 360 video. Live 360 transports people into new experiences—right as they happen,” Facebook’s Supratik Lahiri, Product Manager and Chetan Gupta, Software Engineer said on Monday.
Later in December, Live 360 broadcasting will be available as an option in the Facebook Live’s API. The social media behemoth has bigger plans; and from 2017, immersive, real-time video streaming will be available to all Facebook Pages and users.
As things stand at the moment, you will not be able to watch Facebook Live 360 videos in Virtual Reality headsets, but that’s not to say you can’t watch the replays there. Speaking to Josh Constine of TechCrunch on how Facebook plans to tackle the issue of the unavailability of support for spatial audio or 4K resolution on its platform; the social media giant said they are already thinking about what to do. On supported devices, Facebook said: we recommend using a Nokia Ozo or Freedom360 Broadcaster rig with Vahana VR for high quality experiences, or the Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano or Ricoh Theta S for less produced moments.”
Tuesday’s broadcast from the Facebook Page of the National Geographic will include a Q&A with the unnamed scientists who have been in seclusion for the past 80 days. At 3PM ET Tuesday, eight unidentified scientists will emerge from 80 days of isolation inside the pods in Utah and it will all be captured in 360 degrees. Funded by the Mars Society, according to The Verge, the group’s goal is to make the planet habitable in the likely event that we destroy this one.
“They [the scientists] will take you behind the scenes to explore the living quarters, see how the scientists suit up in their space suits, and take a rover out for a spin across the Martian landscape. This first Live 360 will also include a Q&A with a line-up of science experts, writers and thinkers, and will take questions from the Facebook audience.”