We've all heard plenty about Virtual Reality and 360º Video. Creating your own little 360º experience is a piece of cake since you can buy a 360º camera as easily as a pack of cigarettes (way easier even). But just how far can this piece of hardware get you in terms of your business' performance? How exactly can this help your particular business?
Give a 360º video in a VR headset to a newbie and he’s going to be amazed, granted. But he’ll most likely flip out with the concept of this immersiveness, rather than with your actual content.
What 360º video lacks
Most 360º cameras are very very easy to use. You simply upload the 360º video as the camera outputs it to present your space or scenery. That’s nice, but let’s be honest - Watching a 360º video for the first time is cool, especially when watching it in a VR headset, but once the novelty of the concept has faded, it is admittedly quite impractical and slightly boring. The interactivity is limited to having a rather passive look around while the video is playing and determining where the story goes.
So, how can we change that?
What if you could give that power and control to the audience? Make them determine which way to go and what to discover? That’s where you use the full potential of this medium and maximise engagement, which ultimately translates into leads, traffic and effective marketing. It’s what you need to properly apply this technology to your particular business. You need to sell items in the scene? Do so. You need to explain elements in the scene? Do so. You want the user to explore on his own? Let him. Customize your video to what YOU need to present. This interactivity is what establishes a bond and creates loyalty between your audience and your brand. It’s what differentiates you from everyone else who went to get a 360º camera, like he’d go out to buy cigarettes.
So, yes, there’s much more to 360º videos than the mere medium. You've got to spice it up. Only then, is when 360º video gets interesting and, most importantly, actually useful and effective for your business. Just as you might be used to with virtual tours, that are composed of interconnected “still” 360º panoramas, you can place interactive, dynamic hotspots on top of your 360º videos in 3DVista Virtual Tour PRO (VT PRO). While the video plays in 360º the user can click on elements, which can
- Lead to the next 360º video (the adjacent room),
- Lead to a 360º panorama (the adjacent room),
- Open up a window that shows text, images, videos, 3D models or everything combined,
- Open a URL,
- Open a purchase window,
- Download a file, or
- Play an audio file.
We’ve had absolutely amazing video stories and samples coming in from 3DVista users: A horror story that lets you discover a “haunted” castle (which if you dare, you can rent for a weekend to stay in), discovering the jungle with all its sounds and hotspots explaining the flora (and if you’re lucky the fauna), and interactive treasure hunts.
One of the samples we had taken, with a Ricoh Theta V camera is the one above (Click on the image to run the 360º video). The image quality of the video is limited to what a camera of this price range can give you. In combination with a multitude of inviting hotspots, however, you’ll manage to shift the focus from the mere medium to the actual content and variety, which makes up for the quality that these affordable cameras can give you today.
And if your budget allows, upgrade to a high-end 360º camera, such as the Insta360 PRO. There’s a really cool interactive 360º Video Sample that we filmed with the Insta360 PRO in Venice on Carnival this year - coming up very soon.