Virtual Reality Tours: Who Can Afford Them?
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Virtual Reality Tours: Who Can Afford Them?

How much would you pay for the WOW effect?

You see, 3D visualization destroys the need in presentations, leaflets, and boring speeches full of cliches. No more “comfortable atmosphere of our hotel” and “the windows of your room will look out upon the ocean.” No more talking and persuading - if you want your customers to experience the place and really like it, you need to offer them a virtual reality tour.

3D visualization gives potential clients a perfect opportunity to preview the location, and, what is more important, to react on it emotionally. Seeing, hearing, interacting with the environment is the new level of marketing and sales: it’s the answer to the majority of clients' questions.  How will I feel inside this restaurant? Will my wife like the location of our future apartment? Are there any worthy pictures in that gallery?

The experience a potential client has with virtual reality tours is different in many ways. It is absolutely emotional, it’s much more tangible in many senses. It’s personal and it’s really interactive.  And the most valuable fact is that it's absolutely and totally trustworthy. One thing is when you look through some lifeless photos or watch a video of the hotel you want to stay for a month. Another thing is an amazing, 100% reliable virtual reality tour inside the room.


Observing the sunset and hearing the waves instead of reading the reviews about a hotel and looking through the catalogue with photos. What will work better? Of course, you know the answer. So what do you need for a virtual reality tour?



First Stage - Creating Content for the Application



If you want to create a 3D tour (or a VR tour how it’s often called), you either need photos 360 or video 360. 3D tour created with 360 video or photos is the possibility to show the environment in detail and with 100% realism.  Showing the place THE WAY IT IS in real life evokes the sense of trust in customers. Because hotels and restaurants are more than food or swimming pools- it’s the atmosphere created with the help of details, colors, textures. It’s something elusive which still can be captured with the help of 3D video.  

If the environment doesn’t exist at all, it can be created in 3D from the scratch.  Visualization of future projects in 3D is a competitive advantage for any builder or interior designer. More than that, 3D modeling works best for design agencies that have several variants of the interior to offer their clients.  The choice among several variants is sometimes the best argument for a client.

What’s the difference between video 360 and photos in 360, the logical question is, what shall you choose?

The difference between video 360  and photos 360 is the dynamics, movement, action, raw emotions. Call it as you like.  For instance, if you are shooting outside, you can capture trees and grass movement. If you are shooting a party, you can catch people dancing, smiling and kissing.  It’s good to create a 3D tour using video for a lab to show how specialists are working and what tools they are using. If the environment is static, such as the hotel’s lobby, photos in 360 will be enough.



Photos 360 can be done with the help of a special camera 360. And then photos will be added to the application. The price for the 360 photo shoot will depend on the equipment needed, the necessity for color correction, and the number of locations.

Video 360 can be used to shoot a football match or a lab- any place for which dynamics is important. With video 360, you will get more motion and more interaction with the environment. What gadgets do you need to shoot  video 360 ? You will need a mirror camera or spherical camera.

The price of 360 video  will depend on the following criteria:

1.The necessity of stitching

2.Color correction

3.Music and sound, spatial sound


5.Creation of infographics

6.Adding infographics into 360 video

7.Video editing

3D Tour of the Objects that Don’t Exist Yet for Design Agencies

3D tours of the objects that don’t exist are the ultimate way of persuasion. Of course, it will cost more because the work of 3D modelers: they will have to create the objects that exist only in the imagination so far.  It’s challenging and time-consuming. Yet, it gives so much freedom to designers and to users.  As for the price of 3D modeling for a virtual reality environment, the work can be assessed as per object or as per hour.

 One of the major benefits of 3D tours is the user’s freedom to move through the environment. He/she will get the chance to see the objects from different angles, pick them up.

 Another benefit is the possibility to add an avatar that will guide a user in unfamiliar space or some textual information that will alleviate user’s journey.

What about the Gadgets?


You can use all the headsets that allow watching VR videos on your smartphone- Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream or any other modern headset that  can be connected to a smartphone.  They offer almost the same quality and user's experience.  If you want to know more about gadgets,  you should be on this page right now. 

The only limitation is  Google Cardboard. If you want to use Google Cardboard, please don’t. With this cardboard, you won’t have any chance to fall in love with VR. It’s like coming to the first date poorly dressed and drunk.




There is another option which presupposes utilization of high-end gadgets, such as HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.  If a customer wants immaculate graphics and advanced functionality of communication with objects in 3D, these two devices will work the best. With the help of HTC Vive, it will be possible to interact with objects - open the curtains, move the armchair to the other side of the room. HTC Vive or Oculus Rifts 3D tours promise ultimate immersion. And if you have only one chance to impress your customer, these gadgets will work the best for you.


Second Stage - Developer’s Work


If a customer provides the scenario of the application and knows exactly what he/she wants, the developer can breathe out. If there is no scenario, it is the task of the developer to think through the logical steps of the application as well as the whole user-story.  A user-story is the way a user will utilize this application in real life.  Apart from that, the general tasks of a developer will include:  

1.Assessment of the complexity of VR app mechanics

2. Creation of tutorial: interactive or textual 

3. App architecture creation

4.VR functional implementation

5.Video 360 implementation if required

6.Creation of the functionality of the movement   

7.Creation of sound effects and visual effects if required

The number of hours spent by a developer will also depend on the device that is used for a future VR  tour. If this app is created for a wide auditory, it means more time will be spent to adjust it to the whole range of devices. If we are speaking about top devices, iPhone X or  Samsungs S9, the quality of the app will be higher so it will require more time.


Third Stage - UI/UX for a Virtual Tour


Creating UI/UX for a virtual reality is like playing chess: you have to think about the logics of your steps in advance and create an effective strategy to win. The task of the designer is to help users to get through the virtual environment and reach a certain goal or locate the necessary information.

That is why  UI/UX for 3 D tours must provide users with searchability.  For this purpose, maps are often used because maps are habitual and easy to perceive. Actually, people love maps that’s why when they see a map in a virtual reality tour they feel relieved- at last, there is something that I understand intuitively!

Many UI/UX designers choose plans instead of maps because plans are more visual and more precise.



Arrows and plates are also a good tool to help a user find the way in the dreamy world of VR.  In 3D tours created by 3D modelers, it is possible to add textual information that will serve as guidelines as well.  It's very important for museums which don't only need to show exponents but describe them in detail to inform visitors.

 In other words, in virtual reality tours, users must feel natural and relieved of any stress, and that's the task of a UI/UX designer to help a user feel natural and stress-free inside the virtual space. 



Who needs it? 5 Cases of VR Tours Applications


Hotels & Resorts.  Imagine a family man choosing a hotel to spend a vacation with a family( first time in 5 years!) He wants something beautiful for a wife,  comfortable for kids, and a good bar at the beach. If you give him a headset to enjoy a virtual reality tour and to take a look at a swimming pool, a gym, and a playground for kids, he will most likely say “yes” to your hotel. Because it’s deep emotional experience. Virtual reality hotel tours are something most people would grasp immediately to avoid disappointment. 

Builders. There is a couple investing all their money in their perfect future apartment where they will raise their children, obviously, they want to see it in all the details. If you handle a headset with a virtual reality tour to a woman, you will see a smile on her face immediately. VR tour is an ultimate way to evoke emotions.


Design Agencies  For design agencies it’s a chance to showcase future interiors to the potential customers.  Imagine a person opening a restaurant: he has an abstract idea but he is a businessman, he can’t visualize it perfectly well, after all, he is a manager, not a designer. It is the mission of design agency to implement in life abstract ideas of customers. Instead of showing sketches, photos or catalogs or even videos designers will offer a couple of virtual reality tours. Case closed because 3D tour is actually something tangible a person can rely on.

Labs  You task is to persuade a doctor to recommend a private laboratory to his/her patients. It is a good way to show doctors that the labs they use for diagnostics meet all the necessary requirements.  That’s the way to build the trust by demonstrating that the lab is transparent in terms of operations and practices.

Restaurants. Imagine a businessman choosing a perfect place for a meeting during which he is going to sign the contract that will change his destiny. This restaurant is supposed to be in Beijing.  Any serious businessman would make sure that this place will at least be as good as on the photos. 3D tours don’t lie: you see what you will get. Why not preview the place, if there is such an option?The best strategy is to get ready to everything in advance.  Think about it: people come not to eat food, they come for the comfort of the place.

Museums and Art Galleries.  Your museum has exclusive works of art that can expand consciousness and add new colors and tastes to life. There is no doubt that most galleries and museums would like to share their works with as much audience as possible. Art is a universal language that is understood by anyone anywhere. Virtual reality is the interpreter that speaks that language because it destroys the wall between a viewer and a media.



3 Reasons why Virtual Reality Tours are the Thing


 Why bother creating a virtual reality tour for your restaurant, hotel or a lab? I will tell you 3 reasons, and if you find a counter-argument to any of them, I will gladly accept it. But so far:

A virtual reality tour is the possibility to provide your client with 100% trustworthy information about the place. No hidden agenda, no alarms and no surprises. For most of us, people older than 30 who do business or want to have a vacation once in 3 years this is major criterion. For  a doctor choosing a lab for the patients this will also be really important.

 Second, 3D tours evoke  intense emotions. You see, for the brain, one of the task of which is to interpret the stimuli from the environment, it doesn’t matter if they are real or virtual. So in the end the brain will react in the same way to the real sunset observed from a hotel’s room and a virtual sunset created in VR. And the emotions will be 100% real. And you know better than me, that people look for emotions.

 And third, virtual reality tours can bring people to life the places that don’t exist yet or that existed in the past.

So how much would you pay for the WOW effect? What if i told you that it’s absolutely affordable?


25.04.2018, 17:06

Dang it, let's discuss !


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