The Android version of YouTube already has new techniques that allow a higher quality in the streaming of videos in 360º, whether flat or stereoscopic.
Google he has announced Equi-Angular Cubemaps (EAC), a new technique that allows streaming virtual reality videos with a higher quality. A 360º video requires a reasonable bandwidth so that we do not lose the immersion, and this is something that may vary when streaming. Google, aware of this, has been working together with the team of Daydream to look for new techniques that offer better results with a low bandwidth, which has led them to create the EAC.
360º videos require a significant amount of pixels to create a decent experience, ideally being 60 pixels per degree of immersive content to match visual acuity, but this is usually not possible due to the capabilities of devices and bandwidth, so more efficient methods are needed to select those pixels. One of the methods used is the equirectangular projection, where latitude and longitude are used to form a square mesh, but it has the problem that it groups many pixels at its poles and relatively few at the equator. There are also Cube Maps that deform the sphere into a cube that can then be unfolded, improving on the previous one, but they also have a variable pixel density, especially in the corners.
The new EAC method is able to improve Cube Maps by creating a uniform distribution of pixels that in 2D is mathematically accurate, but in 3D uses an approximation with a small distortion. The engineers have also created the Projection Independent Mesh, a technique that abstracts the software that renders the video from the projection technique used, which they hope will become an industry standard. The Android version of YouTube already has EAC and will soon arrive on iOS and desktop.