About VR
Interactive 360° VR panoramas allow your site visitors to view your business’s facilities as if they were standing in the room with the ability to look in any direction around them (i.e., 360° around, 90° up and 90° down). Panoramas can be a single environment (e.g., multiple views of your showroom) or you can link multiple panoramas together to create a virtual tour of your entire facility allowing your site visitors to go from location to location in a virtual self-guided tour. Descriptive audio can be added to each panorama to give the site visitor a greater understanding of what they’re currently viewing. Instead of/in addition to descriptive audio the natural sounds of each environment can be added to enhance the site visitor’s virtual experience. Music can also be added.

Autorotation and autotilt can be built into the panorama but these techniques are only recommended for unattended panoramas that are used at tradeshows and the like, to increase interest and draw the show visitor to your booth. Adding autorotation breaks the immersive experience turning it into an apparent movie that the average site visitor will simply watch and not interact with.

Hotspots are interactive areas within a panorama that allow the site visitor to do things. They can be linked to another panorama, a fly-out image of interest (e.g., floor plans/maps, menus, high resolution images of artwork, etc.), more information about something in that room or the object they’re viewing (e.g., a statue or painting in a museum), an e-mail link, a video, music, another page on your website, etc.

Floor plans
Even though the site visitor can go from room to room "through" doorways, they may want to go directly to a particular location without being forced to follow a predetermined path to get there. A floor plan/map can be added to the panorama allowing them to go directly to any of the other panoramas.

Company logos
The panorama can be branded with your company logo or other artwork/styles that are associated with your company. These can be linked to an e-mail address or another page on your website (see "hotspots" above for more examples). Logos/artwork can be added directly to the image in the panorama (becoming a part of the panorama and moving with it as it is turned) or it can be a part of the panorama’s interface allowing it to be static and always viewable in the browser (e.g., it’s always in the top-right corner of the browser no matter what the site visitor is viewing in the panorama).

Panoramas can be locked to your website’s domain. This means your panoramas can’t be shown on someone else’s site without your consent. If run on a different domain they will display an error message instead of the panorama. This error message is configurable based on your needs (e.g., it can be a simple "Wrong Domain" or it can be something more specific like "This panorama was stolen from <your company name> please call <your phone number>."). The panorama’s lock can contain more than one domain allowing you to host the same panorama on multiple servers without the need of individual versions for each domain.

Additionally panoramas can have expiration dates to disable them at a predetermined time in the future, e.g., this allows you to have sub-contractors use your panoramas on their site for a specific time period. As with domain locking the error message can be customized based on your company’s needs.

Domain locking only works when the panoramas are on a web server (they will play locally, i.e., on someone’s computer) but the expiration date works on a web server and locally. This means you can safely put panoramas on CDs/DVDs and distribute them with the assurance that they won’t run if they are copied to someone’s web server.

Adobe Flash format
Our panoramas are produced in Flash because of the huge installed base of Flash (99% worldwide) and its compatibility with the Windows, Mac OSX (Intel and PowerPC) and Linux operating systems. Flash works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Google Chrome and all Mozilla-based browsers (among others). This means your company’s panoramas are viewable on virtually every personal computer on the planet.

Tour Sizes
Our panoramas are modular components. You can start with an extensive tour or you can start with a few panoramas and add more later to build a more extensive tour. If you change an area that’s already in the tour we can reshoot it and seamlessly update the existing tour.

Even though this sounds expensive it really isn’t. It’s no more expensive than what you’d pay a commercial photographer to shoot your facility and instead of getting a single image of an object you’re getting the complete environment. Imagine how much that would cost if you had a traditional commercial photographer shoot everything in a room at their normal-fee-per-shot rate. “Expensive” doesn’t even come close.

Because every project is different there is no set price. Costs are based on the number of panoramas plus any add-ons (e.g., floor plans/maps, fly-out images, audio, etc.) needed to enhance each panorama to its fullest potential.

Please contact us for a quote today.

The following extract from the well respected 2006 Pew Internet & American Life Project Virtual Tours report effectively demonstrates the benefits of adding a VR tour to your website.

“As of August 2006, just over half of American adult internet users (51%) have taken virtual tours of another location online, up from 45% in a previous Pew Internet & American Life Project survey in November 2004. That translates to about 72 million people who have taken advantage of the internet to explore other areas, a 33% increase over 2004 when an estimated 54 million did so. On a typical day, more than five million people are taking virtual tours in cyberspace, up from roughly two million in 2004.”

“Virtual tours allow people to view an environment without having to physically travel to their location of interest. Through virtual tours, people can get information and experience which may not otherwise be available to them, preview a location before an actual visit, and make more informed plans and selections. And most virtual venues are far from exotic; virtual tours often fulfill practical, everyday queries about a potential destination. With the quality and accessibility of virtual tours improving and broadband penetration rising, people are increasingly turning to the internet to get a feel for such areas of personal interest as colleges and universities, tourist and vacation locales, historical sites, museums, real estate, and hotels.

For example, instead of setting up an on-site visit with an agent, a potential home buyer can now do some of the legwork on her own time. Sitting in front of a computer while clicking and dragging the mouse, she can take in 360-degree views of houses and inspect rooms from corner to corner and floor to ceiling, with descriptive text or audio accompanying her along the way. Without leaving her room, she now spends far less time viewing far more choices.

As in 2004, certain groups of internet users are more likely to have taken virtual tours: those ages 30-49, college graduates, those with higher household income, those living in non-rural areas, those with more online experience, and those with broadband access.

For example, 57% of people in the 30-49 age bracket have taken virtual tours, compared with 47% of those ages 18-29 and 29% of those ages 65 and older. Sixty-one percent of college graduates have taken virtual tours, compared with 41% of high school graduates. Those with household income of $50,000 or higher are also more likely to have ventured somewhere online than those with lower household income (64% vs. 41%).”
— Pew Internet & American Life Project, August 1 – 31, 2006

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a non-profit initiative of the Pew Research Center, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts to explore the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, health care, schools, the work place, and civic/political life. The Project is non-partisan and does not advocate for any policy outcomes. For more information, please visit our website.

View the complete 2006 Pew Internet & American Life Project Virtual Tours report here.

Additional statistics
“60% of internet users take virtual tours online.”
— ClickZ Stats — Nov 2006

“Properties complete with virtual tours are, on average, clicked 10 times more than those that do not offer the service.”
— Property Week

“Virtual tours reduce the amount of wasted viewings by 40%.”
— Property Week

“Virtual tours serve up over 5 million trips per day, up from roughly 2 million in 2004.”
— ClickZ Stats — Nov 2006

“On a typical day, more than six million people are taking virtual tours in cyberspace, up from roughly two million in 2004.

96.2% of travelers use the Internet as a source of information when planning a trip.

80% of Internet shoppers say images are imperative when deciding to buy or use a company’s product or services.”
— 2006 Pew Internet & American Life Study

A compelling use of virtual tour technology will keep visitors on your site, and will also keep them coming back.

“In cyberspace, a site with a virtual tour and interactive media will receive 38% more views than a competitor’s site that is lacking media.”
— 2006 Pew Internet & American Life Study

80% of consumers search for information online. That means at least 60% of your marketing dollars should be spent optimizing your company online.

47% said virtual tours were very important to a listing.

“Statistics from REALTOR.COM show that listings with virtual tours get clicked on 40% more than listings without virtual tours.”
— Susan Barber in the Business Development section of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine (May 2006)

Demographic and psychographic factors also play a role. More people in the 30-49 age group take virtual tours (57 percent) than 18-29 (47 percent) or 65 and older (29 percent). College graduates take virtual tours at a higher rate (61 percent) than high-school graduates (41 percent). Households with an income of $50,000 or greater (64 percent) are more likely to take a virtual tour, compared to households below that threshold (41 percent). Internet users with children under 18 are more likely to take virtual tours (58 percent) than those without children (47 percent).

“Some 65% of those who have broadband connections at home and 63% of those who have broadband connections at work have taken virtual tours. Unlike many other internet activities, virtual tours are not the province of young internet users. Indeed, 51% of younger Baby Boomers (those age 40-49) have taken virtual tours, compared to just 37% of those in Generation Y (ages 18-27).”
— 2004 Pew Internet & American Life Study