Opera has now become the first browser to support 360-degree videos in Virtual Reality headsets. This new developer update comes with a built-in VR 360 player for leading headsets such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and other OpenVR compatible devices, unlocking the immersive world of 360-degree videos for Opera users.
The rapid growth of the 360 videos and soon WebVR bring an exciting revolution for VR content on the web. However, with limited software support, it has been difficult for VR headset owners to easily enjoy the fast-growing library of 360-degree content on Youtube, Facebook and other video portals.
So far, they had to use inconvenient workarounds: download the video first, including spending time on finding a "download" button and waiting for the download. Then quit the browser and launch a separate player app. It wastes time and bandwidth on blindly downloading a video. Sounds ancient.
In order to bring the best web experience to our users Opera is now creating and embedding direct VR playback into the browser. This functionality enables users to watch virtual reality videos, and standard 2D videos, instantly through their VR headsets.
A Seamless VR Video Streaming Experience
The newest Opera developer version comes with VR 360 player feature enabled and will automatically detect an installed VR headset. When a user browses to a video, a button above the video (next to Opera's video pop out button) labeled ‘Watch in VR' will appear. One simple click will engulf the viewer into the 360-degree world offered by the video.
What's more, looking around in the video will no longer require the use of a keyboard or mouse. Users can simply turn their head in the direction they want to look.
All videos can be played in VR
Opera's new video playback will not only support 360-degree videos but standard videos as well. Users can launch any of their favorite 2D movies or standard 180-degree videos through their headset, creating an awesome, personal movie theater experience. The company says that the UX and design teams have created a simple and intuitive user experience for VR headset owners to enjoy as many online videos as they want to.
Krystian Kolondra, Head of Opera browser, said, "This is just the first step on the path for a fully immersive and compatible VR experience on a web browser. With the ever-growing resource of 360-degree content from independent filmmakers and major media and sports companies, it's hard for VR capabilities to keep up with our imagination."
She added, "We especially believe that VR synergizes with sport and there is much to achieve here. We had a pleasure to join the Wrocław Panthers American football club at their training session and shot parts of it in 360 video. Check out how awesome it looks with your VR headset."