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Digital Marketing

What is a Virtual Tour?

Aug 31, 2022

A virtual tour is a video simulation with a panoramic view of an existing or conceptual place that’s viewed online. Put simply, you’re exploring a realistic place, virtually. A virtual tour is a true representation of a real place that you can view remotely from your device, giving you a very realistic experience.

Some people search for virtual tours of potential destinations or attractions they’d like to visit, look at restaurant recommendations, or even view houses they’d like to purchase. A virtual tour is just one form of virtual reality where you don’t need to move or control a character to view the virtual tour, you’re viewing the virtual environment through a device.

You have a first-person view as if you are looking at it in real life, you can then swipe your phone to look around. In some cases, virtual tours have support called Gyroscope which means you can move your phone around to look in the direction you want to see through the virtual tour giving you a near realistic experience.

 

How are Virtual Tours Made?

Virtual tours are created by taking several panoramic images which are edited and connected seamlessly into a single piece. A virtual tour builder is required in most cases where you attempt to create a virtual tour yourself. However, it’s much better to take advantage of the skills of professionals when it comes to creating virtual tours as the quality will be much better.

To do this yourself, you’ll need to acquire the right virtual tour equipment including a digital 360° camera and a monopod. Capture your images in various locations and scenes before using a reliable virtual tour creator that’s easy to use and cost-effective.

 

What Types of Virtual Tours are There?

There are several different types of virtual tours available which include guided video tours, 360° virtual tours, Google Street View tours, virtual 360° video tours, and visual 3D dollhouse. Firstly, looking at guided video tours, these were the earliest virtual tours which were a sequence of videos used to give you a tour of a certain location.

Some may consider this a virtual tour, however, as a viewer, you have no control as you can only see what’s being shown on the screen. As technology has advanced, these guided video tours are no longer considered to be a true virtual reality experience.

The next stage in virtual reality was then 360° virtual tours where you see a completely 360° view of the environment with much more control over the navigation. This allowed the user to turn in a complete circle and in any direction with constant views of the virtual environment. This is now the most used type of virtual reality by many businesses as it’s the most affordable type of virtual reality.

Google made the decision to elaborate on their existing Street View feature in Google Maps to create a solution for virtual tours which was exclusive to them. Users can now extract the virtual view of a certain place to embed online as it’s connected directly to Google Street View in Maps, similar to Google Earth.

After this came to an even more advanced form of virtual reality known as virtual 360° video tours where the user can experience a 360° video whilst navigating in a 360° view during the video. The type of virtual reality only became possible when the high-quality 360° digital cameras were released, however, this type of virtual reality didn’t gain as much popularity as the original 360° virtual tour because it was such a costly method.

Finally, the latest and most expensive type of virtual reality is known as a visual 3D dollhouse which was developed by several businesses. Whilst this is the only type of virtual reality that is closest to a real walking tour, it’s incredibly expensive, making it very unattainable for many businesses and consumers.

Using this type of virtual reality, you would receive a 3D model of a house for example, and enter the house to begin your tour, clicking the move around within the house itself; this was particularly useful for architects before they began building.

 

Benefits of Virtual Tours for Businesses

Businesses can use virtual tours to their advantage by building trust with their consumers and improving their online performance. Through a 360° virtual tour they can show the interior of their spaces and give a much better insight into their environment. Virtual tours have proven to improve online bookings for many businesses such as restaurants and hotels and can be utilised by large and small companies alike.

Many consumers want to research and view businesses before making a purchase, their decision is usually based on what they see which is where a virtual tour can help to boost their decision in your favour. They’re able to make a deeper connection to your business through a ‘real view’ format which will again help them to make well-informed decisions.

These virtual tours also provide businesses with a better search engine ranking performance. Consumers can interact with your business and see much more than they would in a static photo. They can more clearly imagine themselves inside the scene whilst having the control to view things as far away or as close as possible. It also offers a great convenience for consumers to research a business without having to travel there.

 

How to Get a Virtual Tour

If you’re interested in having a virtual tour created for your business to boost traffic to your website, engage with your customers, and improve the authority of your webpage, then get in touch with us today on 0151 652 4777 or at info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk.

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