So, it turns out that the “selfie stick” might actually change the world.

For a while now I’ve been using Google Cardboard to view 3D spherical photos – either those I’ve taken myself using Android Photo Sphere or ones I’ve downloaded from Sphereshare.

So far these have all been static but I’ve now discovered that YouTube is supporting streaming spherical videos. This means you can experience an immersive virtual reality film allowing you to look in any direction as events unfold around you (albeit from a fixed location).

Given the various Kickstarters looking to create 3D panorama cameras, as opposed to having to move a single phone camera lens around and stitching the images in Photo Sphere, the price of hardware to do this should be driven down very soon.

I had all this in the back of my head when I watched the video of Tom Scott at Thinking Digital 2015 called “The Speed of Outrage“. In it Tom talks about the power of live streaming and how all the 24 hour news networks are now happy to go live to someone in the middle of a major event armed with just a camera phone.

Now, imagine Ferguson or similar events – except you put on your headset and the cheap 3D sphere camera on the end of the selfie stick, or mounted on a drone, puts you there in the middle of the action. You feel completely encompassed in what is happening right in front of you – along with the potentially hundreds of thousands of other people having the same experience.

Think about how people will react. The future will be an interesting place and, as always, it’s almost here.

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