Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Create virtual tours and add interactivity to your 360 photos with these tools





Round.me is one of the ways you can add interactivity to your 360 photos




There are now many social media platforms for sharing 360 photos and videos.  However, sometimes we want the photo to have more interactivity for viewers. 

At the most basic level, one way to add interactivity is to link to an adjacent location, thus allowing the viewer to see different perspectives and get a virtual tour.  There are also platforms that allow you to add multimedia links.  Here are some of them:


WEB-BASED PLATFORMS
Google Streetview
Streetview enables users to add links to nearby locations.  To use the feature, just pull up your photosphere, then tap and hold any spot where you want to add a link.  Streetview is free.

Round.me is a web-based platform for creating interactive 360 photos.  With Round.me, you can add portals, hotspots, directional sound, maps and welcome screens to your 360 photos.  Round.me has a free account and a Pro account.  The Pro account allows unlimited uploads (up to 65mp each) and allows you to put your own logo instead of the Round.me logo.

SeekBeak is a business-oriented hosting service for 360 photos.   You can add a wide array of interactive buttons: text, audio, URL, email, image, phone (when a viewer clicks on it, it will automatically call your number), a link to an adjacent scene ("Snaps"), a 3rd party store item, or embedded 3rd party content. SeekBeak is subscription-based but there is a 14-day free trial.

YouVisit began in 2009 as a site for hosting virtual tours of universities but has since expanded to other categories such as travel, hospitality, and real estate.  You can use YouVisit's Tourbuilder to create your own 360 virtual tours, complete with background audio, and hotspots for photos, panoramas and videos. 

InstaVR
InstaVR lets you create a VR app for iOS, Android, Gear VR and soon other VR platforms as well.  It has nearly every imaginable feature available, including hotspots and heatmaps.  However, if you want to embed it on a webpage, you'll need the Pro version, which is currently $199 per month.

DESKTOP SOFTWARE

In addition to the foregoing web-based platforms, you can also create virtual tours using desktop software.  Here are a few:

KRPano
KRPano is a panoramic software for virtual tours.  It is a little more difficult to learn because you need to use their own XML-based language but it is versatile.  [Thanks to Parallax Virtual Tours for letting me know about this!]

Pano2VR is a panoramic software that allows you to create virtual tours by adding hotspots to your 360 photos.  The hotspots can include links, images, videos, sound, or a 3D lens flare effect.  The size, shape and appearance of the hotspot can be customized.

Panocreator is a business-oriented virtual tour software.  It allows you to add several types of interactive links to your photos: links, text, images, maps, videos, sounds, video avatars or 3D objects.

Easypano is a panoramic software.  You can add audio, video, text, hotspots with thumbnails, popups and 3D models.