Virtual tours are a unique way of showcasing properties, commercial or residential using the latest in 360 degree photography and web technologies such as webgl. They are like a window into another world where you can look all around including up and down just as though you are actually there.
Virtual tours are not a new technology, having their roots in Apple’s QTVR way back in the mid 90s but with the popularity Google Street View they are starting to emerge as a viable method of experiencing what it’s like to be somewhere else from the comfort of your home computer or smart phone.
There was and still is a tendency for people who have never seen / experienced a 360 virtual tour to call things such as videos or even slideshows in some cases virtual tours. This is simply not the case.
Videos are comprised of a sequence of still images with audio overplayed on top to create a moving picture which is passive to the audience and not interactive in any way.
Virtual tours on the other hand are totally interactive, immersive single panoramic 360 degree still images where the user interacts with the image using the mouse / keyboard on a desktop computer / laptop or by swiping gestures on a mobile phone or tablet device in order to look around.
You cannot look around inside a video – unless it is a 360 degree video – but we wouldn’t call a 360 degree video a virtual tour either.
They certainly can and we can give you any assistance necessary in adding virtual property tours to your listings on property portals.
There are several ways in which we produce our virtual tours which depend on if the virtual tour is a standard html5 one or one of the newer 3D virtual tours powered by Matterport.
Standard virtual tours are comprised of a series of spherical 360 degree panoramas which are linked to each other using virtual tour authoring software. The spherical panoramas are produced by either stitching together a series of 12 fisheye photos or in the case of gigapixel virtual tours we use a motorised tripod head and take around 70 photos which are then stitched together to create the panorama.
For large outdoor virtual tours we also use a GPS unit in order to assist with positioning the images in relation to each other back at the studio.
Matterport virtual tours on the other hand are taken using the Matterport 3D camera which captures all of the photography in HDR (High Dynamic Range) and uses the 3D data to automatically align and position the images. The images are then sent to the cloud for processing which takes a few hours but we generally have the Matterport property tour available for you within 24 hours.
To answer this question we like to say why not use virtual tours? When it comes to online sales and marketing of property, for bar, restaurant or night club bookings, for promotions and PR and for social media marketing you have the following at your disposal:
Now you can also add 360 virtual tours to your arsenal which can be embedded on your website, shared on social media, sent to PR companies and online news outlets for compelling news stories linking back to you.
Due to 360 virtual tours having the “cool factor” and the added interactivity which is missing in images and video they are liked and shared more on social media making your return on investment higher.