How to View Custom Photo Spheres on a Google Pixel and Daydream View

Today I was testing out a user interface design for a Google Daydream VR application we are creating at Variable Labs and I wanted to see how it would look in the Daydream View headset. To check out the UI with the headset I created a photo sphere which is a 360 degree image commonly associated with Google Street View. Since adding a photo sphere image to the Pictures directory on the Pixel phone didn’t work as expected, I needed to know the following:

  • what size should a file be to look best in 360 degrees in the Daydream Photo application,
  • how do I name the file and what file-type is required for photo sphere image viewing on a Google Pixel phone,
  • what is the best location to place a photo sphere so that it shows up in Daydream’s Photo application.

My initial testing shows these as valid answers to the questions above:

  • for best results use an image that is 8192 x 4096 72 dpi,
  • prepend “Pano_” to the name of a jpg file (example: Pano_uiTest.jpg),
  • place the photo sphere in Pixel > Internal shared storage > DCIM > Camera.

Following these simple recommendations has resulted in the highest quality photo spheres for use with a Google Pixel phone. I’m continually testing ways to get high quality images and videos onto VR platforms, let me know in the comments if you have a better way to accomplish this.

Dennis Bonilla has been a user experience designer, software developer, and digital strategist. Dennis is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Baltu Studios. Dennis co-founded Unified Pop Theory with his friends. Dennis is a trend finder and idea maker who is inspired by individuals that believe the world can be changed one great project at a time. Dennis can be reached on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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