Until the last few years, the most interactive and immersive tour experience was a 360 Virtual tour.
Used for property viewings or checking out tourist attractions, it was a helpful way to get a sense of what you were looking to invest in.
But now, the advent of 3D virtual tours has changed the viewing experience. So, what are they, and why are they so much better than a 360 virtual tour?
What is a 360 Virtual Tour?
A 360 virtual tour is a series of panoramic images stitched together to create a ‘virtual’ experience of any location.
Users can experience what a location or a property looks like without having to visit that location physically. It can be viewed on any personal device (laptop, phone, tablet, etc.). And can include music or a voiceover to enhance the immersiveness of what you are looking at.
While 360 tours can give you an idea of what a location looks like, it is not truly immersive, and it is often difficult to tell the scale or proportion of what you are looking at and has been described by some as “little more than a glorified slide show.”
What is a 3D Virtual Tour?
A 3D virtual tour represents an interactive 3D recreation of your viewing location. 3D scans are widely used in real estate and hospitality to provide potential customers with an online “walk-through” of a space.
Viewers can navigate the space simply by clicking or tapping the screen. They can look up and down, side to side, and move around the space just as they would in real life. The transition between points is seamless and without distortion when implemented correctly.
Some companies even offer 3D tours in the virtual reality space. Viewers can use VR equipment to experience a full rendering of the space they are looking at and walk around it and experience it more immersively.
What’s The Difference?
While any virtual tour can capture two dimensions, height and width, true 3D virtual tours also capture depth.
This is usually done with specialized equipment, cameras that use multiple lenses, and infrared that can sense, measure, and capture the depth of their recording. The resolution and features vary depending on your camera, but the immersive experience remains.
What are the Benefits?
A 3D 360 virtual tour can give customers a whole experience of the space they are looking at, any time, day or night, not limited to the company’s operating hours.
They are also convenient. Viewers can gauge the property or holiday location they want to see accurately without having to leave their homes, able to make an informed decision before spending time and money visiting in real life.
This can lead to a better sales and conversion rate when they are ready to see it in real life. They will likely already have decided because the tour has shown them everything they need to see in detail. Nothing is left to the imagination.
The buying process is sometimes integrated into the tour, especially for holiday destinations. Once someone has finished viewing the resort, they can book it then and there.
3D Virtual Tours are a significant boost to both companies looking to attract. And convert customers and users who want to ensure they receive value for money before purchasing. As time passes and the experience evolves, the tour sector will only get stronger and stronger.