When to level up from 360-degree video to 6DoF VR

In this blog post we will cover the differences between 360-video and 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF), and how to discern if upgrading your training from 360 – video to 6DoF VR can positively impact learners.

Virtual Reality has become an increasingly valuable tool in learning and development, allowing learning to extend beyond an eLearning course or classroom setting. In a report on AR/VR use by Victoria Petrock for eMarketer, she estimates that 42.9 million people will use VR and 68.7 million will use AR at least once per month. With the fast-paced growth and projected use of different types of VR in training, companies are often faced with some pretty big questions: 

  • What are the different types of VR? 
  • How can you know which one is appropriate for your training course? 
  • When should you level up from 360-degree Video to 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF)?

Let’s start with the basics.

360-degree Video vs 6DoF

360-degree video, or “immersive videos,” are video recordings that have been recorded with an omnidirectional camera or a series of cameras in all directions. They can be viewed in a panoramic style that gives spectators a 360-degree perspective from a fixed location. 360-degree video is an excellent tool for companies to give learners an all-encompassing view of a potential setting or situation.

You may have seen these types of photos or videos on Facebook or LinkedIn. 360-video does not necessarily require a 3D headset, merely a screen with 2D capabilities.

While 360-degree video allows viewers to control the direction of viewing, it is not as interactive as 6DoF. 6DoF “refers to how much freedom of movement a rigid body has in a three-dimensional space,” explains Mary-Ann Russon of IBT. Let’s take a look at a diagram for illustration.

Diagram of six degrees of freedom

This diagram represents the X, Y, and Z axes that the viewer can experience during 6DoF. Rather than viewing something in a panoramic fashion from a fixed location, someone experiencing 6DoF can physically move forward or backward, left or right, and up or down. 6DoF allows the viewer to experience the virtual reality as one would experience their physical reality. 

6DoF, unlike 360-video, requires a VR headset to experience. This is because simply put, 360-video delivers a live-action video production and 6DoF VR creates a digital environment for the learner to experience and interact with.

Here’s an at-a-glance summary:

360-Video

  • Filmed on an omnidirectional camera
  • Can be accessed on 2D equipment
  • Displays existing experience, cannot be manipulated or altered

6DoF

  • Requires game production technology
  • Creates a digital environment/new experience
  • Interactive 

When to level up 

So how can each of these VR mediums function within learning, and when is it appropriate to level up from 360-degree video to 6DoF?

Let’s take a health and safety training course for example. A manufacturing company needs to train employees how to safely deal with a burst pipe on a piece of production equipment. The first step in managing the burst pipe is to turn off the power. Using immersive training, this company could replicate this scenario without causing damage to the production equipment or harm to the employees.

If employers implemented training with 360-degree video, the employee would be able to view the piece of machinery and locate the power switch. This gives the employee a way to learn the parts of the machine at a distance, but does not allow them to interact with the machinery.

Potentially, this company wants to give its employees a full crisis training experience. They want their employees to be able to view the equipment and interact with it so that they may be able to both locate the power switch and physically turn it off. With 6DoF, training could achieve exactly that. 6DoF would allow the employee to walk up to the machinery, assess the situation, and turn the power switch off. 

Even further, maybe the next step in training is to pick up a fire extinguisher in case the machinery catches fire. With 6DoF VR, an employee would be able to move within the 3D environment to locate and even pick up the extinguisher. This instance is one in which 360-video could be limiting in terms of training.

As soon as a learning experience requires an interaction from the employee with some component of the simulation, it is safe to say that it is time to level up from 360-degree video to 6DoF. 

Some other factors that may help influence your decision, could be budget, production time, or hardware, but overall, if your training course requires action and interaction to best train your employees, upgrading to 6DoF might be the right decision for your learning experience.

Contact one of our learning experts to discuss how Roundtable can help you develop the right Virtual Reality experience for your learners.