What Is A Virtual Tour?
Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find Wikipedia’s definition. “A virtual tour is a simulation of an existing location, usually composed of a sequence of videos or still images. It may also use other multimedia elements such as sound effects, music, narration, and text. It is distinguished from the use of live television to affect tele-tourism.”
But to us here at Momentum 360, virtual tours are much more than this. Let us explain.
Since 2015, we’ve been serving small businesses in Philadelphia and the surrounding states. Sure, we provide virtual tours. But we don’t just think of them as just that, it’s a lot deeper than what appears to the naked eye.
We see them as master keys, having the capability to open doorways to small businesses that their owner’s never even fathomed before. This sounds cliche, but it’s not. We tried to look for things that benefit small businesses..most of which have already been created.
Google My Business pages, Local SEO, and coffee stands that never close (haha)..we tried to think of things that could be of equal value to small business owners!
We began to think about how we could make it easier for customers to get into contact with your small businesses. We looked at restaurants and real estate websites, and tried to think of ways to make it easier for the consumer. We thought to ourselves….what if a person could see inside of a restaurant to make a reservation? Or see inside of a residential house to make the viewing experience a lot better?
So we made it happen. 5 years later, Momentum 360 was born. Ever since our inception, we’ve been thinking about virtual tours this way. We don’t think of it as a way to get a “quick buck.” Rather, we use this tremendous opportunity to help our small business owners that are struggling more than ever right now.
Ever since the corona virus has captured the world’s attention, it’s been extremely hard to find any positive light in this pandemic. We encourage our small business owners to not panic, even when it seems like that’s the only thing that we can do. We need to stand tall, and stand together.
We can’t let this virus kill our human spirit. We need to keep innovating, keep investing and stand united! We need to show the rest of the word that we can make a difference in this crazy world. We need to continue our support of this incredible virtual tour technology at Matterport. If we continue to do this, we will continue to further humanity.
Now, back to our originally scheduled programming! As many of you know, we use Matterport as our virtual tour provider. They do an extraordinary job at capturing small businesses in the way that we want for our clients. Matterport uses a few of their homegrown applications to make their practices as best as possible.
This is the Matterport Capture app. This app allows you to sync your camera with your phone to begin shooting a location! Matterport also goes into more detail on their app that you check out below.
This essential app makes capturing any space as simple as a press of a button, automating the entire process. Use the app to quickly capture depth, data, and imagery of a space when connected to a supported camera.
Then simply upload to the Matterport Cloud and all processing of assets is taken care of for you. Download the Matterport Capture App to any compatible iOS device and see how easy it is to create a 3D digital twin.
- Works with select 360 cameras, Pro2, and Leica BLK360
- Makes it easy for anyone to capture in 3D
- Compatible with iOS devices
- Android applications coming soon
This application is called Matterport Workshop. This is an application that can be found inside your matterport account. Although it’s best to use this on a desktop. We’ll provide more information on this technology aspect below.
Once the Matterport Cloud creates your digital twin, you can edit your space in Matterport Workshop to customize it, add additional details, and share.
- Create and customize your highlight reel
- Measure your space
- Add Mattertags™
- Label rooms
- Select 4K print quality photos
- Customize your VR experience
- Invite collaborators to view, upload, and edit your space
Another application that Matterport has is called their Showcase App. This is found on IOS or Android. This app shows off the spaces you’ve created inside your Matterport account. This is a great app to share to friends and family, as well as your competitors to make them understand that you mean business!
Matterport Showcase App
Matterport Showcase is how you and your audience view and explore your space in its final format. You can download it as an app or access it through any web browser.
- Experience your space in walk-through mode, dollhouse view, and floor plan mode
- Copy the sharing link and paste it into: email, text message, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media
- View your space in VR
- Access and explore your digital twins offline
What’s a VR brand without some VR Goggles? These Matterport goggles put you in touch with how a human would actually interact with the space. The 360-degree capability allows for flawless accessibility inside the space. This is like our version of Elon Musk’s flamethrower.
Experience your digital twin in virtual reality. Download Matterport VR and pair with a compatible device or launch straight from the Matterport Showcase when using WebVR — you can walk through and experience a space as if you were really there.
Matterport has a specific system on how to use their camera! In this section, we’ll be showing off how easy it is to use their technology for virtual tours.
Matterport is the fastest 3D data solution on the market. Our simple yet powerful Capture app connects wirelessly to any Matterport compatible camera and makes it quick and easy to capture a space with just the push of a button. You can create a digital twin of any real world space in dimensionally accurate 3D and access it from anywhere- then customize it, share it or publish it online to reveal its full potential. Paired with the Matterport Pro2 camera, you get professional image quality, superior dimensional accuracy, and many powerful features. Capture app highlights:
- Capture your space with a simple press of a button
- Works with compatible iPhones and iPads
- Control a single camera or multiple cameras
- Collect accurate depth, data, and imagery
- Capture 360 panoramas and 3D spaces
- Manage your capture process as you move from point to point
- Invite collaborators and create multiple accounts
- Use a 360, Matterport Pro2, or Lidar camera, depending on your needs
Our Cortex AI platform is a powerful deep learning neural network that creates your 3D digital twin and automates many of the tasks associated with customization. Cortex handles the most complex tasks from 3D reconstruction, image processing and color correction, to labeling rooms and the objects in each room. Additional features include:
- Auto generate the most appealing photos and videos from within the digital twin
- Create accurate measurements and dimensions of entire spaces
- Automatic face blurring for privacy, and much more
Once your 3D digital twin is created, customize the 3D walkthrough, add to, modify, and annotate your space.
- Create videos and guided tours
- Trim your video and setting starting points
- Incorporate Mattertags™ with texts, links, and videos
Share your digital twin and related assets with anyone on any device. It’s as easy as sharing a photo. You’ll be able to increase collaboration and productivity, as well as expand your customer engagement and reach.
- Share on social media
- Email to anyone using a simple link
- Embed your 3D digital twin in your website
- Publish to Google Street View, VRBO, and Realtor.com
- Send schematic floor plans
- Generate 4K print quality photos, videos, animated GIFs, OBJ, XYZ, JPG, and PDF files
Matterport SDK extends the capabilities of our platform. Take advantage of our SDK to integrate third-party services, customize functionality, and create new experiences for your customers.
- Build entire applications using Matterport’s 3D data and Showcase App
- Provide an immersive, interactive experience for your users
- Utilize our APIs to programmatically enhance your Matterport space
- Integrate the Matterport experience with your company’s branding and workflows, such as third party tools or apps
So this wraps up how to use Matterport! We’ve been using them since our inception of Momentum, and we’re loving every second of using their technology. We strongly encourage any photographer that is looking to build their income stream with virtual tours to consider working with Matterport. Hell, they’ll even send you leads! You can sign up here using this link, also please reach out to us if you want any more information or high praise from Matterport, you won’t be disappointed.
Like we’ve mentioned in the past, Google also has their version of a virtual tour. Although we prefer Matterport, Google is a close second. On top of their virtual tours, they also have AR/VR that takes a simple search into something much more.
However, we’ll save that one for another blog. Google doesn’t do that great a job at showing off virtual tours. In fact, it’s safe to say that Momentum was actually founded on beating Google in virtual tours. Whenever we see Google tours, they look extremely choppy with no proper editing. It’s not how a regular person would go through a tour.
On top of that, their virtual tours don’t offer mattertags like ours do. It’s extremely lackluster to the business and their owners, it’s work that isn’t even close to par. That’s where we take the initiative to show off exactly what a virtual tour is, and how to give a business the tour of their dreams. Whenever I hear someone ask, “what is a virtual tour?” I get pretty excited.
Why may you ask? Because no disrespect to Google, we just simply have a better product than they do. They might have their own search engine, but we have a product that will have the capability to transcend modern technology. Matterport just uses better technology to give the business owners what they want.
360VirtualBusinessTours wrote about what is included in a Google tour.
Google Business View Prices start as low as $350 and include:
- Google Street View Virtual Tour and panoramic photo editing using Google Maps technology.
- 5-10 still photography shots to use for your Google Local Page, your website, your social media pages, your online directories and marketing/publishing material.
- Uploading your still photography shots and Google Virtual Tour to your Google Local page and taking it live.
- Your interactive Google Virtual Business tour will be hosted on Google servers and appear on your Google local profile and on Google Maps. There are no monthly or annual fees to worry about. Pay Once and keep it forever on Google.
- The starting fee of $350 covers a typical, small uncomplicated layout. An in-person walk through is needed for accurate pricing. We offer free estimates and usually conduct them on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Ask us about repeat/multiple shoots to keep up with your seasonal changes and updated changes to your shop.
- We offer excellent discounted rates if we can shoot you and a neighbor on the same day. Get them to do the tour and you both save.
This is great and all, but we still beat them on features and ultimately the customer experience. The only thing that is comparable is price. But, if you’re a business owner who truly wants to succeed while getting exactly what you want, contact Momentum 360. We’ll get the job done in a way that will have customers coming to you years after we shoot the tour. Don’t believe us? Check out our case studies page here.
All in all, that’s pretty much what a virtual tour is. Pretty cool right? We think so too. If you’re considering getting a virtual tour, you can give us a call or email us for more information. You can schedule a call with Sean or Mac and always get more information on our website!
Our owners Mac Frederick and Sean Boyle have over 20+ years of digital marketing experience and are ready to help take your business to the next level! Our team members have also worked at Google and Facebook before, so we have the most up-to-date knowledge in the business. All to help your business rank at the top of Google and kickstart your journey to be a future lead generation machine!
You can email us or check out our website for more information!
We hope this blog informed you on how to correctly publish your tour to Google Street View and the neat features that come along with this!
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If you have any questions or concerns, leave them in the comments below! From everyone at Momentum 360, thanks for the love and until next time, build Momentum!
About The Author: Sean Boyle
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