Google has announced a new version of YouTube VR at its annual Google I/O developer conference. The update has improved on the initial offering launched last year by adding ‘Party’ which acts like shared rooms where users can connect for the ‘co-watching experience’. This is brilliant for users especially while watching 360-degree videos. The interesting part is that everyone in the party will feel as if they are in the center of the 360-degree video instead of YouTube VR emulating the real-world experience where the users are sitting with each other.

Image Credit: Google
Image Credit: Google

To make the experience more cohesive, Google has added voice chat in the shared rooms so that users can talk to each other while watching the video. The company is trying to integrate the community within the VR experience to boost engagement. The experience looks like a mashup of YouTube and Hangouts, a slight improvement over the Hangouts group chat used by bloggers.

Image Credit: Google
Image Credit: Google

The people joining the chat will appear as user avatars that can be customized. According to a report by The Verge, users in a party have control over what they watch but they can see what other people in the party are watching. Users can also choose to sync up to the same video that other people in the party are watching. The entire experience looks like Oculus Rooms that was launched last year but we will have to wait and see what improvements YouTube VR will bring to the table.

Publish date: May 19, 2017 2:19 pm| Modified date: May 19, 2017 2:19 pm

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