Interactive video: View the world from 360 degrees

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By Mark S. Luckie Comment

Online panoramic photos were already cool when they were just high-resolution, interactive images. Now, the bar has been set even higher with interactive video that allows the viewer to experience a scene from an infinite number of angles. The following are examples of how the immersive technology is being used online:

 
In what is reminiscent of an explosion-filled Michael Bay movie, visitors to the Dallas Cowboys website can experience the implosion of Texas Stadium from inside the arena as well as control the angle they see it from. Even more impressive is the navigation system below the video that shows you what area of the stadium you are viewing.

 
Edmonton Journal captured the excitement and action of a massive dodgeball game by placing a camera in the middle of the action. Instead of a single-camera video or a text story describing 2,000 participants hurling 1,000 red dodgeballs at each other you can experience it yourself.

 
Want to go on a wilderness adventure via helicopter but want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth first? The folks at Nimmo Bay have you covered with their virtual helicopter tour. As you view the video shot from the helicopter, you can use your mouse to see the beautiful vistas from whatever angle you choose.

 
CNN’s interactive video shot in Haiti was featured in this previous post when panoramic video was just starting to catch on. The video, however remains innovative, compelling, and worth a look.

 
Since last year’s post, there have been some significant advances in 360° video and the iPhone app BEP360 is a prime example. The app features an interactive component that pairs augmented reality with 360° video to create one of the first interactive, augmented reality music videos.

As you turn your body and your iPhone, the video reveals more of the action around you. The experience is too cool to capture in words so be sure to check it out.

 
The advantages of interactive video are pretty clear: instead of choosing an angle for the viewer to see, the viewer can experience the scene however they choose. Of course, producing such a video takes resources and equipment, but based on these examples it is worth the effort.