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 a co-founder and the Chief Technology Officer at Baltu Technologies. Dennis created Unified Pop Theory with his friends in attempt to bookmark and comment on novel intersections of technology, science, and the arts. 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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