There’s only so much you can see from your desk, but with virtual reality that could change, and Getty Images is getting in on that sense of immersion.
This week, one of the world’s largest providers of images has announced that it won’t just be offering regular old images, but will also be letting people discover more of the world through its photographers through the use of 360 degree photography.
Not quite an interactive medium, 360 degree imagery is exactly what it sounds like: an image shot of a 360 degree space around the camera, with the edges on both the left and the right technically lining up so that when they meet, they just blend together.
When viewed with a regular computer or phone, this 360 degree imagery just looks like a very, very wide image, but when checked out through a virtual reality headset, the edges join and you’re transported to the centre of the action, the centre of the frame.
Getty photographers normally take photos used for websites, magazines, and newspapers, but with this announcement, some of the photographs being shot will be used for entertainment, allowing owners of the Samsung Gear VR to experience the photos first hand.
“Getty Images has always been at the forefront of innovation, employing the latest, cutting-edge technologies to bring our customers best-in-class imagery from the world’s top creative minds and global events as they happen,” said Getty’s Hugh Pinney, Vice President of Editorial Content for the company.
“We know that consumers love our imagery so we are thrilled to be working with Oculus to offer a truly immersive and social experience on their market-leading platform.”
If you have a Gear VR headset for either Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge, the app you’re looking for to make this work is “360º View”, which will provide images from the FIFA World Cup, Cricket World Cup, Olympics, and even the Oscars, with Getty apparently capturing 360 degree images since 2012.
“With Getty Images’ long standing passion and expertise for visual communications combined with Oculus’ market-leading technology, the experiences users are able to enjoy through the Oculus platform will continue to evolve and grow in a dynamic way,” said Pinney.
“We look forward to what will be a long and fulfilling partnership to evolve the way we put the power of images into people’s hands.”
Getty’s 360 degree app with its images are available through the Oculus Store on compatible Samsung phones with the Gear VR headset, with an app set to be made for the full Oculus Rift when it launches early next year.