360 Virtual Tours: What Are They And Why You Should Have Them

Spherical Panorama With 360 Degree Viewing Angle of Beautiful Fashionable Interior

You’ve probably used your phone’s pano setting. You open the features, spin yourself around at decent speed, and twist yourself up almost into a corkscrew pretzel to get a full, 360 view of the place.

You aren’t exactly doing a 360 virtual tour when you do this, but use a similar approach. You are using a feature that “stitches” together with the images you’ve taken on your phone into one long shot that shows the entire space in 360°. Or at least the given circumstance of how far you’ve managed to twist yourself around. 

The end result is a fun and interactive picture in which you are able to zoom in on specific areas and even drag the image around to look at different points. Basically, when you’re looking at it, you feel that you are actually “in” the image. This is how 360 virtual tours work.

In this blog article, the team here at Generated 3D will explain how virtual viewing works and what are the most valuable virtual tour benefits that make virtual tour services a serious thing to consider.

What Is A Virtual Tour?

Many will try to define 360 virtual tours as a large collection of strung-together photos that “run” like screen shows used to. All the user has to do is either hit “play” or click through these static images, and that’s all to it. There are no zoom features, no deeper engagement, and you aren’t able to take a closer look at every nook and cranny of the image. 

Others may think that virtual viewing is a video tour where the one who’s viewing the images is entirely at the mercy of the expert who’s shooting the video. These videos provide little to no value in terms of engagement and immersive and only let viewers look at the screen and only “command” the one shooting the video to either go back to certain areas or freeze the frame for a closer look. They have little or absolutely no control over what they wish to look at.

By now, you know that virtual tours represent none of these things. To be technically precise, 360 virtual tours or virtual viewing represents an extensive collection of panoramic 360-degree images that are rotatable and “stitched” together. As such, they five a full 360-degree view of the location they depict. These tours (and the technology behind them) use special lenses, cameras, and capturing methods to create a complete “tour” experience for the viewer.

In a commercial setting, a virtual tour video package consists of a collection of high-resolution pictures that are usually referred to as “spins.” These spins are typically brought together in a complete package. The end result is a user experience that showcases several locations on a site, and the views can be switched through thumbnails. The user is the one fully in control of the things they are viewing, and they can either zoom in or out the examine the details they which in any scene. 

The tour provider can also use descriptive text to enhance the experience, and 360 virtual tours can also use various hotspots that take the viewers from one location to the other. Also, the entire virtual video can make good use of sound and additional video footage to create an even more immersive experience.

From a web development perspective, 360 virtual tours can be simply hosted on servers, embedded on websites with a few additional lines of code.

Virtual Tour Benefits

Some of you reading this blog might already assume how virtual viewing can benefit them on their entrepreneurial journey. A virtual tour video is a great marketing tool for attaining more customers and growing your business. For example, if you are running a restaurant, such a video can serve as a cool “virtual reality” view of your premises which helps your potential customers and guests get a better feel of your place. If you are working with, let’s say, luxury condos, 360 virtual tours can go great justice to the estates you are offering. Virtual viewing can be a massively popular sales tool in the real estate business because it can illustrate a property in a way simple photography will most certainly fail.

Apart from that, here are some more virtual tour benefits businesses can take advantage of: 

  • Most buyers research businesses or locations online to make smarter buying decisions. For the most part, they will buy from a company based on what they see on the website. An embedded virtual tour on your site can help tip the scale in your favor.
  • Tours can be a great addition to the hospitality industry. Some potential guests like to collect information regarding the best hotel room views and restaurant tables. Sometimes, they only wish to see whether your premises can support a larger group of people. This can also be a great addition if you offer conference rooms and similar services. Your potential clients can create a “connection” even before they set foot in your business. 
  • You offer your viewers a more detailed look of any location where they can explore the entire place from the comfort of their home.
  • 360 virtual tours can also improve a business’s SEO or search engine rankings. The interest in seeing the location via a 360 gallery can boost organic traffic and keep the viewers on the site for quite some time.
  • The experience is engaging and interactive. A virtual viewing is fully user-guided and not a passive or reactive experience. Being fully in control, the user has the power to start and stop whenever they want. They can rotate the picture however they want.

Virtual Viewing and Your Users

In the digital scene, businesses need to create engaging platforms if they want to stand out from their competition and want to strike a chord with their target audience. And as web development is exploring several advanced technologies and implementing them into websites (like virtual reality and augmented reality), 360 virtual tours can also serve as a good marketing tool that will boost engagement.

These tours give viewers:

  • A chance to interact with your business location on a more advanced level
  • The ability to see more than they would in still images
  • The opportunity to control what they are seeing
  • A more immersive experience where they can imagine themselves on the scene
  • A convenient way to examine the location from the comfort of their home
  • A chance to enhance their research efforts before they visit your place and buy something from you/use your services.

Embracing the Power of 360

As you can see, these services hold several advantages for a wide range of businesses who are looking for interactive tools to enhance their online presence and sales methods.

As a matter of fact, here are only a few business types that can benefit from 360 tours:

  • Tuition schools
  • Country clubs
  • Real Estate firms
  • Retreat facilities
  • Event and conference centers
  • Medical facilities
  • Veterinary facilities
  • Nursing, hospice, retirement, and rehabilitation homes
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Car dealerships
  • Travel and tourist agencies

360 tours have much to offer. Feel free to reach out to us to see how we can help you in taking your business to the next level.

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