YouTube is working with Daydream to improve VR video quality

Cleaner images are coming into view
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Not one to shy away from improving the world inside our VR headsets, Google has announced that YouTube is working with Daydream in order to improve 360-degree and virtual reality videos.

The search engine giant began supporting VR video through YouTube around two years ago, with a dedicated app dropping in 2016.

Read next: The best 360 degree and VR videos on YouTube

Now, it appears as though two of its teams will collaborate to close the gap between what our eyes can perceive and what our internet is capable of providing.

As YouTube detailed in a blog post, the collaboration will essentially focus on investigating new ways to translate the spherical, 3D world to a 2D alternative.

By unlocking this cleaner projection, YouTube hopes to create a more uniform resolution across its video content, meaning we can expect to see more efficient and higher quality videos. Previously, it used equirectangular projection (EQ), which can lead to better quality at the top and bottom of a view, instead of the horizon which people generally focus on.

By making equi-angular cubemap projection (EAC) its new standard, improvements like the image below can be expected in VR, which shows the difference between the old and new.

YouTube is working with Daydream to improve VR video quality

It all gets very technical once you delve any deeper, but the takeaway here is that improved videos are on the way, and that can only be a positive for those who prefer to grab their viral videos in the virtual realm.

YouTube indicated that video playback on Android now benefits from EAC projection streamed using an independent mesh, with those on iOS or desktop receiving the upgrade in the near future.

YouTube is working with Daydream to improve VR video quality


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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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