Watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Daydream VR is actually fun

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Live streaming 360-degree video is rarely the right way to go if you’re thinking about doing a live broadcast for an event — but Verizon’s (disclaimer: Verizon owns TechCrunch via AOL) use of it to show the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade actually makes sense. Especially if you happen to have a Daydream View headset, Google’s new first-party mobile VR hardware.

The 360 broadcast is accessible to anyone in the U.S. who happens to have Cardboard, or even just Chrome, but it’s actually best viewed via Daydream VR and the new official YouTube VR app. Dropping in on the stream actually feels like getting a balcony-level view of the parade, with a few  different vantage points that cycle throughout the stream.

I dropped in on the stream just in time to catch a huge inflatable Pikachu passing by, and it was a great little moment. Sure, it’s not exactly Shakespeare, or even a blockbuster Hollywood superhero smash-up, but it’s a nice distraction and a prime use of 360-video, with logical points of focus and not too much risk in terms of misdirecting a viewer’s attention while something important happens behind them, for instance (a common problem with a lot of VR content).

The parade runs through noon ET, so you’ve still got a bit more time to jump in and see what it’s like — again, headset recommended.