Little Star Media Launches Social Portal for Panoramic Video & VR Cinema
Move over, Vine: A startup called Little Star Media plans to revolutionize interactive, 360-degree video experiences the way YouTube has democratized wannabe celebs, double rainbows and cute/crazy cats.
The company says its first offering, Littlstar, will launch in December 2014 as the first open network built exclusively for 360-degree video. By designing a system that accepts content from a variety of 360-degree camera systems and then quickly adapts it to Web, IOS and Android platforms, Littlstar will standardize the panoramic-viewing experience across devices for consumers and video content creators.
In addition, the platform will also deliver deeply immersive 360-degree content to devices such as the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR headset as well as provide developer tools and APIs to fuel the coming surge in panoramic VR content. Littlstar will be open to anyone producing panoramic content, and will provide a showcase for the best 360-degree videos from producers around the world as well as user-generated content from the growing number of panoramic video camera owners.
While a panoramic video setup might have set one back $20,000 a few short years ago, technological breakthroughs and wider adoption rates are already making entry-point products widely available to both consumers and professional content creators. Several camera models— including Kodak’s SP360 Action Cam—are now priced at under $400, and at least six brands (Jaunt VR, Ricoh Theta, Centr, 360fly, Giroptic, and Bubl) will release 360 degree cameras by year’s end or soon after. In addition, numerous high profile investments in virtual reality, as well as entries from Samsung, Sony, and Microsoft, make immersive content much more accessible to consumers.
With the existing panoramic media landscape currently fragmented and primarily consisting of highly customized experiences or one-off apps, Littlstar has created a simple, centralized experience across devices for consumers to access panoramic video, and for producers to easily share it.
Market research suggests 360-degree video engages people much more than traditionally filmed content. Audiences watch panoramic videos five times as long and they are seven times more likely to share them. Research also supports positive ad impressions, something Microsoft is exploring with its “Ad Pano” format. Interactive panoramic ads have been found to increase product purchase intent 65% over standard ads.
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