WordPress, now ubiquitous with blogging, has announced their latest plugin. Those of you who want to start experimenting with VR content online now have an avenue to do so. From today, you can upload VR videos or 360-degree pictures and they will instantly be viewable as such. All it takes, as with all WordPress Plugins, is a few lines of the shortcode.
WordPress and the next VR step
The news was broken by Toni Schneider, a board member of Automattic, which is the company that develops WordPress. He explains that WordPress should make it as simple as possible to publish and present VR content. He also gave a short insight into what VR content on the site will look like. It’s very similar to how Facebook have handled their 360-degree content, only with a play button function instead of autoplay. However, knowing WordPress, that functionality can probably be added after the fact. Schneider says that so far the video works with Google Cardboard and Daydream, the Samsung Gear and of course the PC-based headset HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Schneider writes: “We’re already seeing examples of how VR can help tell stories. The Harvard Gazette is starting to use 360° photos to convey their stories, for example in Confronting the Refugee Crisis.” A less severe example is, of course, the large number of advertisers that have used 360-degree videos to good effect.
A quick how-to
Schneider gives a simple explanation of how to get VR content onto your WordPress page. Upload like you would a picture or video, then decide whether it’s going to be just 360-degree video or a full VR cinema mode. Then, you publish it with the corresponding shortcode: [vr url=path-to-photo.jpg view=360] or [vr url=path-to-photo.jpg view=cinema]. If you’re still stuck, more detailed instructions can be found through the link here.
of course, if you want to make your own VR content you still need the capabilities to do so. Schneider says that using Google Street View is one method. Another would be of course to start investing in the right kind of camera. Or, if you just want to try out the panorama viewer, just take a panorama shot with your phone and make sure to use the shortcode.