Kreative visual experiences are enabled by modern visualization technologies. They also can foster trust. Examples are 360 degree tours or INTERACTIVE 360 degree photography. Its therefore recommendable taking interactive panorama photos into account as part of a comprehensive photo strategy.
VIRTUAL 360 degree tours with Google Street View
Since 2013, Google is offering interactive 360 degree indoor-tours in Germany. These panorama photos are interactive to the extend that the viewer can move around within these photographs. The more 360 degree photos are linked together as part of a tour, the smaller the steps become when moving around in the room. Viewer photos result in jumps through the room. Experiencing the space then results in an overview as opposed to a detailed impression thereof. Its therefore worthwhile deciding early on wether a rough or very detailed impression of a room shall be presented.
360 degree tour: From Charles-de-Gaulle Square zum Picasso Square, Cologne
Advantage: Familiar navigation
Google Street View has become a standard platform for virtual tours. Users have become familiar with how to navigate through these virtual tours. Providers of panorama tours therefore can rely on a well-established platform which users will understand and be able to use quickly when using Google Street View.
Disadvantage: Movement only, nothing besides
With Google Street View, user experience is currently limited to virtually experiencing space (as of 5 May 2018). It is not possible to connect the room with other content in the internet. That is possible with other platforms as shown by the following examples.
INTERACTIVE 360 DEGREE PHOTOGRAPHY AND TOURS
One strength of the internet is linking different content. Such links can be embedded in panorama photos as well. This is how interactive 360 degree photos are created. As is typical for panorama photos, it remains possible to experience the room. In addition, specific elements from the internet can be connected to the 360 degree photo. Such elements could be, for example, texts, photos, videos or graphics. The links in turn can be highlighted and marked in a 360 degree photo by texts, symbols, frames or shapes. Its these links which make a panorama experience interactive. This is presented by the following examples.
INTERACTIVE 360 degree photo in the Media Park Offices with many links to different services of the Cologne office center
Advantage: Wide range of experiences
The above examples illustrate how interactive panorama photography can be used. This way, 360 degree adventures are becoming even more exiting. On the on hand side, space and on the other hand side, the interactive elements can be explored. Here is an example: Assuming there is a menu of a café visible in a panorama photo. A link connects it directly with the weekly menu on the website of the café. If the menu on the website is up to date, this results in added value for the visitor of the virtual tour. A well planned link structure ensures that visitors of virtual tours will always have access to current information.
There are different providers of 360° tours, Panono for example. There is no standard established for symbols or interactive areas. Its therefore possible that visitors of interactive 360 degree tours or interactive 360 degree photos have familiarize themselves as to how to move around in the panoramas. Interactive elements have be be recognizes as such and be understood.It could be that for some visitors such familiarization is too much.