360-degree videos are not a new concept, becoming somewhat more popular and accessible with Oculus Rift. The Japanese companies NTT and NicoNico Douga are now collaborating to attempt 360-degree broadcasts of live events.
The idea behind this undertaking is to bring a perfectly immersive video broadcast of live events to individual users. This will obviously be made possible through head-mounted displays. Wearing such head-mounted gear, viewers will be able to turn their heads, shift their views and look at an event just like one would while being present at the original venue.
It is interesting to see that NTT, which is a telecom giant, is working together with the video network NicoNico Douga on this project. It essentially hints that the two will independently bring their ‘virtual reality broadcasts of live events’ to the end users.
One of the key problems in making this happen, especially during live events, is to minimize the time it takes to process a user’s actions, such as turning head or shifting view. To ensure this, NTT and Douga have put in place advanced mechanisms to process and understand a user’s actions instantly and maintain the stream quality at the same time.
In simpler terms, this is a very ambitious project and the main aspect is to find the right balance between providing high-quality video and stabilizing the video while processing user’s actions. Apparently, the basic infrastructure of such virtual-live broadcasts is in place and the two companies are now stress testing the system.