Archive for May, 2016

We wish you a great start to your week! And to make it a little bit more easier for you, here’s some panoramic beauty to brighten up your day!


Arch Of Triumph by Marcio Cabral (click the picture to open the pano)

Let’s start with this magnificent aerial shot from above the Arch of Triumph in Paris, France. Marcio’s pano certainly gets you to an unusual place you don’t get to visit every week! Also, France’s capital looks amazing at night with the Eiffel tower looming in the background.


Rafting on river Inn by Andreas Hebbel-Seeger (click the picture to open the pano)

Want some adrenaline photography? Andreas took this pano while rafting in Rosenheim – certainly a fun thing to do, but be careful! One bad move – and you’re taking an underwater pano!


Watergate by Liviu Jurca (click the picture to open the pano)

Liviu captured this wonderful sunset in Romania and we love the way he did it, as he did a tremendous job with putting the sunset, the bridge and the starry sky above to contrast. Looks fantastic!


La Palma Milky Airglow by Dave Walker (click the picture to open the pano)

Speaking of starry skies, check out this lovely piece by Dave Walker. As he points out – when you’re a panoramic photographer, sometimes it’s necessary to wake up early to get the best look.


Lavka Pod Zamkem Cesky Krumlov by Florian Knorn (click the picture to open the pano)

Last, but not least, we give you Florian’s nice shot from a small Czech historical town of Cesky Krumlov. Oh, the architecture!


Wait! We’re not done yet!

Cave Zedna, Lazarev canyon by Aleksandar Nikicevic (click the picture to open the pano)

Prague: Senat by Patryk Szarek (click the picture to open the pano)

Conwy Castle by luis davilla (click the picture to open the pano)

YouTube for iOS gets full Google Cardboard support

YouTube’s Android app has had full Cardboard support since November, but iPhone users have been sorely out of luck. With today’s release, iOS users can now tap the icon in the top-right of any video to get the option to view it in VR mode.

This is huge news for mobile VR as YouTube essentially just opened up what is likely the largest iOS virtual reality content library.


Google Announces Virtual Reality “Daydream” Headset, Controllers and Ecosystem

At its annual I/O developer conference today, Google is showing off a reference design for a new virtual reality headset that builds on the success of the Cardboard unit it launched back in 2014. The headset is part of Google’s new Daydream initiative, a mobile VR platform baked into Android N. As with Android, Google wants its hardware partners to build and sell their own Daydream devices. And in a surprise move, Daydream’s system doesn’t just use a headset — it also features a new kind of control system for mobile VR…


Q&A: Mad Max stuntman on VR and movies

Is it hard to sell the idea of VR while high-end headsets remain prohibitively expensive and many people haven’t been able to try out the technology?

It depends on who you’re pitching to. Suicide Squad’s VR portions were filmed for marketing purposes. It takes some work figuring out how to monetise these experiences.




Inside Megadeth’s Virtual Reality Adventure

“We’re hoping for something that is completely mind-blowing, and we’re doing something that to the best of my knowledge hasn’t been done yet by any metal bands and maybe not any bands at all,” Mustaine tells Rolling Stone during a break in shooting.

The virtual reality performance footage will be included in a special edition of Dystopia, packaged with the visor and instructions on how to download an app that allows you view the immersive mini-concert via your smartphone. The five-song set unfolds amid flashing lights, layers of fog and the “dystopian world” introduced in the music video for “The Threat Is Real.”

That grim scenario is hardly new for Megadeth, which has explored doom, death and corrupt geopolitics in their songs and imagery from the band’s early Eighties beginning. The band’s name, says Ellefson, refers to the body count after a nuclear confrontation, and “that theme has carried through from the very original artwork.”




Incite Mixes Heavy Metal and Virtual Reality in Their New Video (Exclusive)

Cavalera says the new technology enables bands to give their fans new ways to experience the music and how it all comes together. He imagines virtual-reality cameras capturing aspects of live shows that create new experiences, such as having fans witness the mayhem of a pit from directly above, or putting them in the position of the band members on stage.

The “Life’s Disease” video, meanwhile, places the viewer directly in the middle of terrifying scenarios. “We trap the audience in various 360-degree environments where we built an occult underworld packed with imagery that’s designed to whip viewers into a state of frenzy,” Sexton says in an email. There’s a seance scene replete with flashing lights and nightmarish specters, and there are moments set in an insane asylum.


The Ultimate VR 360 Camera Buying Guide

Making the correct choice depends on what you really need and, of course, your wallet’s capability. If you’re looking to simply carry a 360 camera as you go on your outdoor adventures for the sake of capturing your experiences, then the cheaper 2D cameras should do fine. However, if you’re looking to produce professional-level video quality, then the much pricier 3D cameras are a good investment. Everything just comes down to preferences and needs, like in most gadgets.



Simulating the actual battlefield for soldiers who will be facing combat is possibly the strongest area in which virtual reality can prepare troops during training. In the past, popular movies and books were the closest examples a new soldier had of a war zone. Today they can become fully immersed in a virtual program that helps them train their senses to be fully aware of what is happening without the risk of actual harm, helping them know what to expect when they are ready for battle. The three-dimensional environment allows the soldier to move around and interact with the environment for the closest experience to the real thing.

Some virtual reality programs extend beyond troop training as well. Some troops have found great relief from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through virtual reality therapy. Soldiers can learn to deal with their symptoms and become exposed to their triggers in a safe environment, protecting themselves and their loved ones in the process.



How will virtual reality change our lives?

The therapist tries to mimic what the patient is talking about in their trauma narrative. And eventually by confronting it with therapists, you start to see post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms start to diminish.

We’ve used VR to help people with high-functioning autism be more effective at job interviews. This involves having them practise their interviews with a wide range of interviewers – different age, gender, ethnic background, and different levels of provocativeness.

We know that the brain is quite good at suspending disbelief, so even though people know these aren’t real people, they relate to them as if they are.

This is why VR is so compelling, because whatever is learned in those worlds hopefully will benefit how the person translates their behaviour in the real world.




History of Virtual Reality

Post World War II, VR kicked off as a Flight Simulator for the military, and later for guiding tanks and ships. Millions were invested in this technology which showed great potential. The technology was already spreading its wings around the world, but the term Virtual Reality became popular only a little after 1980s.



Studio 360

The pioneers who are making the first virtual-reality narratives.
Luis Blackaller, a producer at Wevr, said, “We all liked the concept. We had only a few choices to make.” Like most V.R. crews, Bravo and her team would shoot with GoPros—cheap, shatterproof cameras that are marketed to extreme athletes, not filmmakers. Matthew Niederhauser, a cinematographer, noted that most V.R. experiences are viewed on phones, and said, “You can shoot with big, expensive lenses, but what’s the point?”

An engineer at Wevr built a camera rig out of aluminum and sandbags, to minimize jostling, and the crew did a test shoot with the rig in the passenger seat. “Watching it, you had to turn around the whole time to make sure you weren’t missing anything in the back of the car, which felt annoying,” Blackaller said. So they decided to film from the back right seat instead. Bravo tweaked her screenplay to remove minor cinematic vestiges—insert shots, subtle blocking details—that would be either irrelevant or impossible in V.R.

“Then we had another big conversation,” Blackaller said. “Do we film a dummy?” In some V.R. experiences, the viewer feels invisible; in others, one can look down to see one’s body represented onscreen. In a clumsily animated V.R. segment produced by another company, I experienced a nightmarish version of the latter: I flew through the air, my legs dangling below me, scrawny and immovable. My arms were those of a white man in his thirties, which happened to match my anatomy but might have been distracting, if not alarming, to most humans. And when I craned my actual neck downward I saw a sharp line where my virtual neck ended, leaving a black void where my head was supposed to be.


Google IO!

Google IO started yesterday so there was a lot of hype around VR.

Nick Bicanic made some interesting predictions:

1. Tethered VR headsets are a speedbump. No one wants to have wires attached to their heads and while of course Uncharted 4 in VR could be awesome – the same rule will apply as for cameras in the early days of the iphone. What’s the best camera for the job?…..The one you always have with you.

2. Full-size Mobile Headsets (GearVR/Google Daydream) are also doomed – because no one (NO ONE) will carry these things around. The only thing I ever carry around with me is and I’m not the only one Marco DeMiroz

3. So that leaves us with Magic Window or finger swiping on a screen to view bits of the surroundings until such time as something the size of of pair of sunglasses (or smaller – or even…contact lenses) can handle VR.

I know I know. People will say “spinning around your phone is not the same thing as watching a whale swim underwater!!!!” –

yeah sure.
I agree with you.

But that’s irrelevant if no-one will do it.

The point of my pronouncement is that if I’m even half-right we should be shorting Samsung and Apple.

Because Samsung needs Android more than the world needs GearVR. Google will demand that Samsung Galaxy phones accept the new VR styled Google Play in order to have access to Maps, Gmail, Contacts, Gtalk etc etc – and Samsung will cave. Which means Oculus store go bye bye.

As for Facebook – well that is interesting…by integrating voice calls into its messenger and thinking that Photo/Social Network communication is taken care of then in theory they just hold people within their app. Which is a great strategy if there is more than one O/S. For example you could have Facebook on Hololens, Facebook on iPhone etc etc – just like you do now.

But unless Facebook makes a phone (AND a phone O/S) (which has been rumored for a while) they will NOT own the operating system of the future (as Mark Z. suggested VR was). Google will.

Hmmm. MSFT doesn’t need cash – but has Hololens in a very interesting position….if Hololens was a private company Facebook would buy it for whatever money was necessary to shore up Oculus position.

My question is then – how does Facebook pivot Oculus to Mobile without making a mobile O/S? It already supports 360 video in Facebook app – which is great – but not enough to transition to AR and exercise some control. So who do you buy if you are Facebook? Magic Leap is overvalued (and Google is in it to the tune of 300mil). Meta? ODG? Hmmm….Facebook buying ODG – that could be interesting wink emoticon

As for Apple – right now it’s neither a premium player nor is it a lowest-common-denominator player. It’s just sitting on the sidelines. By the time it gets up – it’ll be too late…


Here is the 360 interactive live stream of the IO keynote:




Hi guys! We’re back with the coolest panos uploaded to 360Cities last week – and like every time, there’s lot to look forward to!


Milkyway And Moon Hidden by Salma ElDardiry (click on the picture to open the pano)

As you know, we LOVE night panos, especially when the Milky Way is included. Salma’s pano fits perfectly into that category, especially when it doesn’t lack quality! Perfect pano!


Traditional Weavers by Martin Broomfield (click on the pictures to open the pano)

Martin visited Cote d’Ivoire to visit traditional weavers there. He visited two of them in a small town of Lolobo and saw all the wonderful stuff they make. Have a look!


Ruins of Edomite Village by Sergej Esnault (click on the picture to open the pano)

When you’re a tourist, it’s always awesome to find a spot which is both wonderful and not crowded. The ruins of Edomite Village are exactly the place. Certainly a place you will not forget, just look at the color of the rock formations!


Dolomiti Gruppo Del Sella by Ugo Visciani (click on the picture to open the pano)

The Alpes are one of the best places for taking some nice panos, especially when the weather is just right. The view Ugo captured is amazing, while the setting sun gives the scenery a lovely and unusual look. Brilliant pano.

Hey, if you love procrastinating just as much as we do, we get it. Just keep scrolling, there’s more for you.


Plants and Seedlings market day by Martins Strubergs (click on the picture to open the pano)

Great East Window by Daniel Oi (click on the picture to open the pano)

The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace by Martin Broomfield (click on the picture to open the pano)

Hi guys! We’re happy to have you back here! Let’s have a quick look at the coolest panoramic photos our photographers uploaded recently – and there’s a lot to look forward to, they were on fire!


Etna Lava Flow by Michel du Chesne (click the picture to open the pano)

Well, let’s hope Michel was not literally on fire taking this pano – but he did a wonderful job. He also proved the 360Cities photographers love adventures, because only then they can take the best picure, right? Absolutely right this time!


Crater Lake – Sinnott Memorial by William l (click the picture to open the pano)

Let’s cool down a little bit, shall we? William’s pano takes us to the cool Crater lake in Oregon. The blue sky above makes the lake look so wonderful!


Morning near Niasvizh castle by Viktar Malyshchyts (click the picture to open the pano)

We really love this one. Viktar’s aerial shot shows you how beautiful Belarus can be, especially in the morning, when the fog covers the surroundings of the Nisvizh castle. Lovely!


Room in Middle School Number 3Classroom in Middle School Number 3 by Christian Obel (click the picture to open the pano)

Well, this isn’t as lovely as the previous panos. Christian took a trip to the town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and took a couple of chilling panos from there. Both rooms in the school Christian visited look just like they weren’t abandoned for long – it certainly doesn’t look like the tragedy happenned thirty years ago!


Comb of the wind by luis davilla (click the picture to open the pano)

Let’s finish this weekends highlight summary with some art! Luis took this picture on a beach near San Sebastian in Spain. The monument’s name is so fitting!

Wait! We’re not done yet! There’s much more!


Sistine chapel. vatican city by luis davilla (click the picture to open the pano)

Wisteria festival Ashikaga by Akiyoshi Odagawa (click the picture to open the pano)

Treehouse in the kids’ garden by Don McClane (click the picture to open the pano)

Cerovo Cave by Vladimir Krzalic (click the picture to open the pano)

Sultan Qaboos Mosque inside by shahid adam (click the picture to open the pano)

Pantone tower malaysia by shahid adam (click the picture to open the pano)

Great Falls on the river Tavaksai by Vinnichenko Vladimir (click the picture to open the pano)

Center Of The Vikos Gorge Greece by Vasilis Triantafyllou (click the picture to open the pano)

Under the Quire ScreenChapter House and South of York Minster near Roman Column by Daniel Oi (click the picture to open the pano)


Effectively a virtual time machine, Timelooper helps users travel back in time by watching animated historical scenes using a smartphone app and headset, currently being tested in London and New York. What makes Timelooper unusual is the way it is tied to the physical location and how it can generate revenue for itself and its business partners.

“Timelooper is an open virtual reality platform for cultural and historic locations,” says founder Yigit Yigiter. “We create content in-house and host third-party content, and when we monetise content via the app we share revenue with the content owner.”

Like most app start ups, Timelooper considers multiple revenue sources. “The app is free but we will have in-app purchases like premium content, advertising and a few other revenue streams,” he says.


The Nauseating Disappointment of Oculus Rift

But reliable consumer VR is still in its infancy. The games, films, and other virtual experiences that people are making for these gadgets are very much experimental; it’s hard to know just what will and won’t work until a lot of headset-wearing folks like me have spent time trying this stuff out.

And when things don’t work just right, VR can literally make you ill, or at least uncomfortable. Some issues can pop up with the hardware itself, like visual jittering. Others relate to the ways content is made—things like rapid acceleration and deceleration can make you feel sick because what you see isn’t matching up with what your body feels.


Watch the first sample footage from GoPro’s six-camera Omni VR rig

The Omni, when it ships later this year, will help filmmakers eliminate that hassle of needing to build their own rig. (If they want to go all-out, they can buy a 16-camera rig that GoPro built with Google for $15,000.) GoPro started taking preorders for the Omni last month; the company is charging $5,000 for six Hero 4 Black cameras plus all the necessary hardware and software, or $1,500 for just the frame.


Riding ‘TheWave’: How A Few Young Men Are Using VR To Change Music Forever

“Currently—EDM music is a perfect place to start, given VR’s current state. Our goal is to expand to all of the genres.TheWave is going to be the number one place where you go in VR to experience music. But right now, it would be incredibly hard to do an interactive, immersive rock concert because I just don’t know how you could do that with actual people and guitars. You need to use the Kinect or some sort of janky video capture to get them. So it’s really a matter of focus and execution of where the tech is.”


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explains why he’s not ready to invest in virtual reality

First, despite growing interest and adoption of VR following the release of the Oculus Rift this year, the size of the market remains tiny. Now that Netflix has expanded to 190 countries and has 80 million users watching on 1,000 different platforms (smartphones, gaming consoles, TV apps), the number of potential viewers on VR seems like a speck.

“The problem with VR is that there’s not enough people on the platform to support the investment in that kind of content,” Sarandos said.

The second issue relates to the type of experience VR offers. The immersive, intense nature of VR can be exciting in the context of a game, but it can be too much when it comes to simply watching a movie.

“You’re exhausted after 20 minutes,” Hastings said. “We are more focused on a lean-back, relaxing experience.”

Sarandos added: “I can’t imagine putting on a VR headset while sitting on the couch with my wife for two hours and just disappearing.”


Oculus exec Mary Lou Jepsen resigns to cure diseases


(Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard

1. 5 million Cardboard fans have joined the fold.

2. In just the past two months (October-December), you launched into 10 million more immersive app experiences:

3. Out of 1,000+ Cardboard apps on Google Play, one of your favorites got you screaming “aaaaaaahwsome,” while another “gave you goosebumps.”

4. You teleported to places far and wide, right from the comfort of YouTube.

5. Since we launched Cardboard Camera in December, you’ve captured more than 750,000 VR photos, letting you relive your favorite moments anytime, from anywhere.

6. Students around the world have taken VR field trips to the White House, the Republic of Congo, and 150 other places around the globe with Expeditions.


Unilever CMO Keith Weed: ‘We are shooting VR content for all our brands’

Oculus Rift, a VR headset sold by Facebook, carries an initial price of $599.

“We’re now in a phase potentially of marketing for people and that journey I think will make marketing mobile again,” said Weed. “Marketing started off by serving people [and] in the 80s it got a little bit lost with selling more stuff.”

“If you go on somewhere like Vice – which is obviously very much targeted at millennials – you see Unilever brands very much present there. Why? Because we really understand the power of millennials. Our brands have stories to tell to millennials and the reason they have that is because we have brands with purpose, brands with meaning.”


The most promising virtual reality experience I’ve ever had

The Void isn’t like other VR systems you might have heard of. It is a full-body simulation, and it is completely wireless.


The Void’s Rapture system features a haptic vest with a built-in, fully customized, ultralight computer.

So what does that mean?

What that means is you’re not seated in The Void, like you are in most Oculus Rift experiences. You’re not standing and walking around inside a tiny virtual cube, like you are with the HTC Vive. With The Void, you are completely free to go wherever you want within the bounds of the simulation.






“The eating out market is growing but this passion for food is masking a lack of understanding around how food is produced and the vital role our farming and food industries play in growing, sourcing and producing quality ingredients.”

He added: “By bringing together tech developers with farmers and food experts, we have created an immersive virtual reality experience that will allow people to follow in the footsteps of farmers, suppliers and our crew, bringing the best of UK food production from the countryside to communities across the UK.

“Our hope is that it will help build pride in British and Irish farming, challenge outdated stereotypes and celebrate the best of food and farming in the UK today.”


Virtual Reality’s trillion dollar endorphin industry

Adding 360 video to the marketing wheelhouse is a tall order, but innovation is quickly making it easy and affordable to adopt.  The medium depends on whether or not future investment carries its development.  Teleportation of the conscious to another location is still compelling, and exclusive to virtual reality, and hardware companies such as LeapMotion continue the development adding hand control features. I presented the game Weightless to my colleagues at a retreat yesterday, and they could almost feel the space debris in front of them.





Visual Connections is the largest annual visual media trade show in the world. This networking event is exclusively for image/footage/art buyers.

360Cities is attending the “Visual Media Expo Chicago 2016” event this week to introduce the potential of your high-quality 360-degree panoramas to a new audience of advertisers and publishers. 

If you in or are around Chicago on May 5th, 2016, come to see us at the Ivy Room in downtown Chicago. We’d be glad to see you!

Hi all! We had a little break last week, but that doesn’t mean you’ll miss your round-up of the coolest panos uploaded to 360Cities by the world’s best panoramic photographers! Here are the panoramic pictures that got our attention last week!


Dresden Kunsthofpassage by Udo Lenkewicz (click the picture to open the pano)

This week, we start in Dresden, Germany, in this little street famous for its unusual architecture. The blue building there not only looks cool – it also sounds cool! Yes, that’s right! If it rains, water flowing through the gutter makes sounds which make the building truly special.


Seralon Stairs by Romain Calvetti (click the picture to open the pano)

Time for one more street art – this time from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. This is the Selaron staircase, decorated by more than two thousands tiles, coming from more than 120 countries! Most probably, there’s a tile from your country, too!


Cobbler shoes by Santiago Salinas (click the picture to open the pano)

Santiago uploaded a wonderful picture from a shoemaker’s shop in his hometown in Ecuador. Pretty much everything in there is original, which makes this little shop – which is probably the oldest one in the city – stand out among the others.


Inside snow cave by Vincent Lawrence (click the picture to open the pano)

Being a panoramic photographers, you do all kinds of stuff to make the perfect picture. Vincent, for example, went inside a snow cave in Chile – and it was worth it, as he made this brilliant pano.


Nordindien – Buddah in the Monastery Likir by H.J.Weber (click the picture to open the pano)

This massive statue of Maitreya (the future) Buddha, is situated in the Likir monastery in Northern India and it is more than 23 meters high! As H.J. points out in his pano’s description, there’s much more to see in the monastery, so make sure you read it all. Interesting!


On the roof of The Last Supper Room by Zoran Strajin (click the picture to open the pano)

What a lovely view you can get after climbing to the roof of the Last Supper Room in Jerusalem!