When we refer to virtual tours, we are talking about the individual 360 tours. For some clients, these individual virtual tours are all they need, perhaps because they only want to commission one virtual tour, or sometimes because they wish to just have text links to the virtual tours. However, for an increasing number of companies looking to commission virtual tours, an interactive interface adds value to the 360 virtual tours, providing their viewers with a positive and engaging brand experience.
What’s an interface?
An interface provides a framework for your viewers to use to view and navigate around your 360 virtual tours. As well as offering a practical navigation method, they can also add value by offering viewers extra features such as hotspots, audio or even video.
When is it useful to have one?
A virtual tour interface is exceptionally useful if you have two or more virtual tours within one location, or even spread out geographically.
What are the options?
Floorplans / Maps
A floorplan enables the viewer to choose rooms and change direction at any time, so they can move through different rooms, changing rooms at any time. It’s not just useful for individual buildings; a map can be used allowing users to navigate between separate virtual tours across a wider geographical location. Here are some examples of how maps and floorplans could be used in different types of projects:
- A property virtual tour where there are several 360 tours of different rooms within the same building, allowing viewers to hop from bathroom to living room to garden in any order. Please click the link to view an example of a property virtual tour and floorplan
- A university virtual tour where there are tours across different campus buildings,or within a hotel where there are tours throughout the hotel and grounds. Click the link to view an example of a hotel virtual tour and map.
- A tourist guide where there are virtual tours right across a city can be tied together with a map interface, such as Google Maps. Click the link to see an example of a city virtual tour using Google Maps
A hotspot is a marker within the virtual tour that indicates to the viewer that there is an additional feature available. Hotspots can generate different types of features, for example; info windows with photographs, text, audio or video.
When a hotspot is clicked, an info window can appear which shows the viewer a photo or some text about a feature.
- Within a property virtual tour, interesting or unusual features could be highlighted. For example, a hotspot on the shower could open a window with a photo of the body jet system in action and give information about the jets. Please click the link to see an example of a virtual tour with info windows.
- At an exhibition, an info window could offer information about the artist whose work is displayed. Please click the link to view an example of an exhibition virtual tour.
The interface can include audio. This could be as simple as a soundtrack (click the link for an example of a virtual tour with soundtrack). However, audio can also be used more creatively. Imagine a museum virtual tour where a voiceover talks you around the exhibits. Or a toy shop virtual tour where you can hover your mouse over toys to hear the different sounds they make.
You may wish to include videos in your virtual tour, and this can be achieved very neatly. For example, in a retail virtual tour you may wish a hotspot to take the viewer to a product video. Eye Revolution’s programmers can even embed a live webcam within the virtual tour.
What else is possible?
We can build in other features which Flash allows, so you can let your imagination run free! For example, you might have the virtual tours above a block of text. If you refer to something in the text that features in the tour, we can make this clickable so the tour automatically pans around to show it. (Please contact us to see an example of this functionality.) If there is a feature we haven’t discussed here which you think would enhance the virtual tour experience for your viewers, then please talk to us about it and we’ll see what’s possible.