Screen grab of the virtual tour I built in February of 2000 for the ad agency I worked at.
Creating Virtual Tours Since The Last Millenium
More About Me and Virtual Tours
A Better Virtual Tour is just one of the design services I offer under Chris Sebes Design, LLC.
My first virtual tour was for an ad agency I worked for in the early 1990s to the early 2000s. It involved using one of the first digital cameras. Each panoramic image would involve taking 12 photos, one every 30 degrees while rotating the camera on a tripod. The laborious task of lining up the overlapping images wasn't ideal. Eventually, the images were dragged into Apple's Quicktime VR Authoring Studio, where the tour was assembled. Hot spots in each panoramic image indicated an area where you could click to go into another room, up or down stairs, or through a door. Of course, I had to compress the life out of these images to get smaller file sizes, since most of the world was still on dial-up internet back then.
With all that, the end results were very rewarding. The tour lived on the company's website for a few years.
A couple of years after agency life, I began using a Kaidan 360 One VR lens attachment (which you may still be able to find on eBay). Use of this piece started with pointing the camera straight up. The attachment was then added to the lens of the camera. The ensuing photograph was of the image captured on the bell of this attachment. That donut-shaped image was interpolated into a equirectangular photo using software. Back into authoring software, I would then assemble the tour. This method was easier and yielded better quality. But that lens can't compare to what I have today in an 60-megapixel dual fisheye lens camera.
Where are all of the Virtual Tours?
So why do you see so few virtual tours? Likely because they're not easy to create and implement. But I feel that the results are well worth the effort and I want to help show off your space or business. I also enjoy making them. Although, it can be challenging to find a place to hide from a camera that photographs the entire room.
Google plays a big part in bringing eyeballs to your website. Their algorithms are designed to look for more activity and longer stays on websites. When they see visitors spending more time on a site, they take it as a sign that there's something engaging and valuable there. Whether it's someone reading detailed information, watching videos, purchasing products, or looking at photographs, attention is being retained. Google sees that kind of behavior and they push you up higher in search rankings.
Keeping your visitors' attention is naturally done with a virtual tour. It's different. It's intriguing. It's captivating. It's informative. It's also a lot of fun.
With a virtual tour, you're giving your potential client a much better understanding of how your space is laid out. How many times have you seen a regular photo of a room, only to realize how it didn't give you a good perspective once seeing the space in person? Give your clients the whole picture.
There's lots to like about virtual tours and lots of cool things can be done on your virtual tour. Aren't you curious to find out what those are?
You'll likely have questions. I'm here when you do.
Click/Tap and drag to see what a regular photograph can't show you.