360° video allows a viewer to look in any direction and see the full scene. While traditional cameras shoot in one direction, 360 cameras/rigs record footage in every direction that can be stitched together to create a spherical video. On the web, viewers are able to control where they look buy dragging and rotating the screen. On mobile devices or VR headsets, viewers simply move the device or turn their heads to look around the entire scene.
VR (Virtual Reality) is a simulated environment designed and presented in a way to make the user accept it as real. VR environments can be both captured from the real world, or developed through software. In video form, VR is similar to 360° video, but it adds a feeling of depth through the use of stereoscopic 3D. While standard 360° videos show one image to both eyes (monoscopic), VR shows separate images mapped to each eye (stereoscopic), which creates a 3D effect.
While VR creates an even more immersive experience, the majority of content being created currently is monoscopic 360°. In addition to VR having a more complicated production process, distribution and playback is much greater for monoscopic 360° video. To take advantage of VR, the viewer must have a compatible VR headset, while standard 360° video can be viewed on practically any browser or mobile phone. If your priority is having the most immersive experience, VR is the way to go, but if you want to share your experience with a greater number of people, stick to monoscopic 360°.
Let's talk! We'd be happy to connect and discuss further.