VR stock photos are coming to Oculus Rift

If virtual reality takes off like its backers hope, it'll create a whole new market for panoramic content -- 2D photos and video aren't going to cut it. That's why Getty has just launched 360° View for the Oculus Platform to offer an "engaging virtual reality experience of enchanting creative stills." Rather than smiling people doing ridiculous things, Getty said it's new library is about "transporting viewers to... the world's glitziest events, sports' major games and exotic locations around the world." Images now available in the Oculus Store include scenes from the Cannes Film Festival and 2014 World Cup.

Once you load up the scenes, you'll be able to pan and scan them in any direction. Getty didn't specify exactly which tech it's using to create the 360 degree images, but said it's been doing it since 2012. Judging by the photo above, it looks like it's projecting spherical scenes made up from multiple photos onto a single flat image. When the image is loaded into special VR software on a headset like the Rift, the user can view the scene from any angle and even zoom in.

Getty's not the only company working on panoramic images, of course. Facebook has promised 360 degree videos for its Oculus platform, and third-party players like NextVR are also creating high-end video content. Samsung has also stocked its own store with 360 degree videos from various sources for the Gear VR headset. In fact, Getty's 360° View service is now online and working with the Gear VR, and the stock photo outfit said it would also run on the Oculus Rift once it arrives for consumers early next year.

[Image credit: Getty Images]