Google, at its I/O announced its newest take on virtual reality tech and how it can be integrated into the smartphone arena. How the whole service will work is still largely a mystery but the company announced on Wednesday that it has been slowly building virtual reality-focused functionality into the YouTube app over the past year.

Evidently, the company has been actively bringing 360-degree video formats, stereoscopic video, 3D audio and general Google Cardboard support to YouTube, making it the “world’s largest collection of VR videos.”

The company says that it is developing he YouTube VR app to provide an easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube and that the app will come in with all existing YouTube features including voice search, discovery and playlists. This is being especially designed for smartphones that will support Daydream.

Apparently, all of YouTube’s videos will be available for playback in full 3D. Google has also teamed up with the likes of NBA, BuzzFeed and Tastemade to explore new ways of storytelling in virtual environments that will provide valuable lessons about the way creators and viewers interact with VR video.

The company has also been trying to expand its Jump program. It has been getting together with camera companies to increase the number of users and creators who can access and use Jump-ready cameras, such as the GoPro Odyssey. YouTube also announced that its Jump program is going live today in YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles and New York City.

The app is expected to come out later this year but no specific time-frame has been provided. It will also be nothing like the current YouTube mobile interface and will be built from scratch. So it will be interesting to see how the video repository cuts the cake. Also, queries and searches are something most people are concerned about. Will YouTube take a voice approach or does the company have something else up its sleeve? Only time will tell.


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