We are often asked, “What’s the difference between VR and 360?”

While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are different.

First, let’s talk about what 360 and Virtual Reality do have in common:

  • Experience. Both mediums create a unique, immersive experience for the viewer.
  • Equipment. Both mediums are best viewed using headset technology.

What’s 360 Video?

360-degree video has transformed the way we can capture and share environments. By using high-tech cameras with multiple lenses (like this one we used on this project) we can simultaneously record in every direction, creating an immersive video that viewers can interact with in real time by simply moving their head in the direction they want to see. 360 videos have gained enormous popularity. They’re more engaging than static videos or photos and they let viewers independently control what they see. And they are hot on social. Check out this blog from last year on why you need 360 on Facebook.

What is Virtual Reality (VR) Video?

Getting a little technical here, the term “Virtual Reality” is used to describe a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. This person becomes part of the virtual world, or, is immersed within this environment and is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. Phew, that’s a lot. Bottom line is, VR aims to create a totally immersive experience. The viewer is taken into an artificial environment and can interact in this virtual-world in very real ways.

So, what is the difference between VR and 360 video?

Vimeo.com spelled it out pretty clearly: Think of it like this — with 360 video, you’re in the passenger seat of a car. The driver represents the filmmaker, who creates a stunning experience and invites you along for the ride. You can look around from your seat and enjoy the curated scenery. With VR, you are behind the wheel, deciding where you want to go. While it may seem like more control is awesome, it is not the same kind of experience filmmakers and viewers are seeking, and that’s why VR is most often used in video game or simulation systems.

Interested in creating an immersive, interactive video? Contact Bottle Rocket Media and we’ll help you create a stunning one-of-a-kind video experience to transport your viewers wherever your heart desires.