So the 360 video newsfeeds at Biscuit Rodeo Central Command lit up this morning awash with the a clicking dream team of NASA and Zuckerburg. NASA have released awesome imagery of the Curiosity Mars Rover working out near the Namib Dune< on Mars no less, and Zuck published it in the Facebook's 360 video player. Fullscreen Nasa Curiosity Rover Mars and it looks and plays superb on mobiles. And Google Cardboard and stereoscope devices here
– if you like what we’ve done here you might like our take on NASA’s Black Marble too.
So the original published piece by Zuckerberg on Facebook (see below embedded) does have a couple of major glitches. Oddly enough its published through the 360video player when in fact its just a still image and all our newsfeeds picked it up as ‘video’ leavin’ us utterly slackjawed (360video on Mars – wtf?!?!?). UX left us feeling like we were missing something with the arbitrary 30second countdown – it’s definitely not a video.
Secondly the projection was all warped, which leaves any user feeling like they’re in waltzer peaking and troughing, with an impending lunch-revisit. Humans naturally attune themselves to the horizon to find a sense of balance and place. If you weave that horizon as a banana, then the user isn’t going to stick around. NASA did a great job stitching the images to create a composite panorama but the left out plenty of sky detail which when missing will warp the projection – its pretty simple panorama stuff, the old equirectangular 2:1 stuff.
So what everyone alwsy forgets is… everyone else. We all use internets differently on different platforms, devices and engage differently too. For this you need something robust, and doesn’t alienate large chunks of your audience. Reading the news pieces originally you get directed to a browser url for Facebook where even trés moderne smartphones aren’t supported for Facebook’s 360video player. So I’m sure it will work on the Android app, but you’ve already lost the user – we’re a fickle bunch.
For someone who’s spent a bazillion dollars on Oculus you’d expect smarter realisation of 360º media.
(Biscuit Rodeo is currently on the market seeking offers in excess of 10 megamillion Mars Dollars)
This is a neat 360 video from the surface of Mars. You can look around like you're actually on the planet.NASA produced it by stitching together photos taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover, using technology created by the 360 video team at Facebook. This is just the beginning of what we can do with virtual reality and 360 video. Pretty amazing.
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday, 31 January 2016