Just last year 360 degree videos debuted online as the latest technology providing the viewer with the next step towards a truly immersive experience - that almost-like-you're-actually-there feeling.
There are two main ways to capture 360 degree footage. The first is to have multiple cameras with overlapping views, hooked up to a professional rig. Once you've captured your footage, you have to manually stitch all your footage together, which can be very laborious endeavour.
The second approach is to buy a special 360 degree camera, which are increasingly appearing on the consumer market; of course, with new technology comes a pricetag that will make a dent in your bank account. The 360 cameras available currently include one released by Kodak, the Alliecam, 360fly, and Ricoh's Theta S.
Just late last week Google released a 360 video that takes the viewer through their data centre, explaining the ins and outs of how Google is able to file and store all the information you need when it's 3am and you can't remember the title of the song you want to do karaoke to, or just really feel like you need to search for some highly obscure fact before you go to sleep.
Below is that video and seven others that show how 360 degree videos can take you places - from the middle of the ocean to the inside of a surf shop. If you're on mobile, simply moving your device should pan around the 360 shot; on desktop you can use the little handle cursor to drag the viewscreen around.
1. Google Data Centre
If you've ever stopped to wonder how Google has an answer for nearly everything and how it manages to store, you know, all the information in the world, this is the video for you. Take a walk through Google's Data Centre in The Dalles, Oregon.
2. Fighter Jet Cockpit
Not only can you see all the equipment in the cockpit working, but you get the full perspective of the pilot's view looking down through the clouds and to the ground below. Dizzying!
3. SBS' Mardi Gras float
Ever wondered what it would be like to be part of SBS' very own Mardi Gras parade float here in Sydney? This video transports you to the middle of the parade, and you can watch the crowds of people on the sidelines cheer you on without having to learn the vigorous dance moves.
4. Elephants on the brink
A herd of elephants in South Africa are doing their thing, when they notice the 360 camera observing them in their natural habitat. Not only can you look around, the elephants walk right up to the camera; yes, that's an elephant coming right at you!
5. Haydenshapes Retail Experience Store
Of course, retailers want their share of the new tech. The NSW surf store Haydenshapes shows that online shopping doesn't necessarily mean you have to miss out on browsing through racks and wandering the shop floor. While you may think "oh I can look in a shop, what's the big deal?" this video allows shoppers who cannot make the trek in person to still see the space in the environment it's intended to be in, rather than just as a picture on a website. If you love shopping but can't get to a boutique or shop for whatever reason, that's pretty cool.
6. Dolphins on the Great Barrier Reef
Can't afford a diving holiday to the Great Barrier Reef? Swim with the fish and dive with dolphins in this 360 degree video from under the sea. This highly popular experience was produced by Seaview 360, a company who call themselves "pioneers of underwater 360-degree content production". Nice.
7. Red Bull F1 car racing
Ever wanted to see what professional race car drivers see when they're on the track? Now you can, with this 360 F1 video that takes you from the pit to the track and lets you look around without the (understandable) fear of crashing the car.
8. Time Couch
And last, but not least - the quirky approach.
Okay, so maybe you've never thought "wow I wish I could sit on a couch in an alley and watch TV," but we promise this video is a wild ride from start to finish.