YellowBird, a Netherlands-based video technology startup, just had its interactive, 360-degree video player approved by YouTube for integration into YouTube's channels. With the new player, you can now not only watch immersive, 360-degree YouTube videos, you can also navigate the video by dragging your mouse. As TechCrunch rightly described it last year - it's like Google Street View for video.
The first YouTube video with this technology is live now, in a campaign designed for Doritos.
You can see the Doritos video by clicking here: www.youtube.com/doritosuk. On this heavily customized YouTube channel, the main video plays a 360-degree version of Professor Green's new video "Coming to get me." Even if you don't know or care who that is, the video is worth checking out for the experience alone.
As with Street View and other 360-degree technologies, you simply click and drag your mouse to choose which direction you want to go within the video.
YellowBird says its original player was customized specifically for this project into an embeddable widget which also contains social networking links, a 2D (unwrapped) version of the video and a link to buy the album from inside the player.
The company builds 360-degree experiences like this one for Doritos by using special software that stitches video data together combined with a player for navigating the through the video created.
Co-founder Rafaël Redczus has been interested in 3D technology since 1999, when he developed a method for creating a still 3D image which attracted interest from clients like Volkswagen, Four Seasons (Japan), Ritz-Carlton (Hawaii), the Netherlands Railway and others. He and the company's other co-founder Marc Groothelm met in 2005 and later went on to form yellowBird itself in March 2009.
One more thing, in case you haven't noticed - yellowBird has one of the funniest domain names we've seen in tech in a long, long time: yellowbirdsdonthavewingsbuttheyflytomakeyouexperiencea3dreality.com.