Embedding VR view

VR view allows you to embed 360 degree VR media into websites on desktop and mobile, and native apps on Android and iOS. This technology is designed to enable developers of traditional apps to enhance the apps with immersive content. For example, VR view makes it easy for a travel app to provide viewers with an underwater scuba diving tour as they plan a vacation or for a home builder to take prospective buyers on a virtual walkthrough before the home is built.

Try to click and drag in the image above, it's a VR view!

VR view also addresses a common developer concern: the limited availability of VR hardware among the general public. Although VR view supports true stereoscopic VR playback through compatibility with Google Cardboard, it defaults to a simple “magic window” mode that works on everything from desktop browsers to mobile apps without any special hardware.

Supported platforms

VR view handles almost all of the difficult and time-consuming work required to ensure compatibility across all modern browsers and mobile operating systems with one exception: 360 videos do not work in a browser on iOS.

Web

  • Modern versions of Chrome and Opera on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

  • Modern versions of Safari on macOS and iOS.

  • Modern versions of Firefox on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

  • Modern versions of IE 11 and Edge on Windows.

Native

  • iOS 8 and higher.

  • Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and higher.

Supported formats

VR view supports mono and stereo 360 images and videos. Images and video need to be stored in the equirectangular-panoramic (equirect-pano) format, which is a common format supported by many capture solutions.

Mono 360 uses a single pano. Stereo 360 uses two stacked panos.

Image specifications

  • VR view images can be stored as png, jpeg, or gif. We recommend you use jpeg for improved compression.

  • For maximum compatibility and performance, image dimensions should be powers of two (e.g., 2048 or 4096).

  • Mono images should be 2:1 aspect ratio (e.g. 4096 x 2048).

  • Stereo images should be 1:1 aspect ratio (e.g. 4096 x 4096).

Video specifications

  • VR view videos should be stored as mp4s encoded with h264.

  • Mono videos should be 2:1 aspect ratio.

  • Stereo videos should be 1:1 aspect ratio.

  • Some older devices cannot decode video larger than 1080p (1920x1080). If maximum compatibility and quality is a priority, we recommend that users provide both a monoscopic 1920x1080 video and a stereo video at 2048x2048 or higher.

Media capture and hosting

VR view is a “client side” display technology and is intentionally independent of the technologies used to capture or host the 360 VR content. The following are some basic guidelines for how to capture and host content that will be compatible with VR view.

Real world capture

Taking 360 photos and videos is increasingly easy and affordable. VR view can use images generated by any camera that supports the equirect-pano format described above. For users interested in getting started quickly, a few of our favorite solutions are listed below:

  • Cardboard Camera App: This free app for Android allows users to quickly capture 360 images. To use these images with VR view, download the image, and then use our conversion tool to create a stereo 360 image that meets our image specifications.

  • Ricoh Theta: A very popular, relatively inexpensive solution for capturing mono 360 images and videos.

CG capture

Imagery for VR view isn’t limited to captures from the real world. CGI software can generate 360 images and videos for everything from architectural walkthroughs to movie previews. Some of our most popular capture solutions are listed below:

Hosting

As a client side display solution, VR view allows developers to choose the best hosting and distribution strategy for their unique needs. Most developers will likely choose to host their media on a web server via HTTP/HTTPS. This approach works equally well for Web and Native. As long as you can provide a URL for your media, VR view can handle it. For native apps, you can also use media that is packed with your app. This approach is ideal if you want to ensure some media is instantly accessible for users of your apps or available to users without internet connections.

VR View platforms

Please read our guides for using VR view on Android, iOS, and the web: