The time has already come for Virtual Reality (VR) to be present in different areas of our daily life, gaining a place within our culture. We can observe its development in business and education, where VR’s use has been growing exponentially and we can find promising figures within a panorama of constant movement and innovation. This is one of the reasons why a large number of companies from different sectors trust this technology for multiple purposes, such as teaching, showcasing, educating and training their employees or students.
Among the many applications of Virtual Reality, one that has become popular and has impacted users due to its accessibility and attractiveness are "Virtual Tours", as they offer a totally new and immersive experience in which users can visit, tour, interact and modify different spaces created or recreated in a virtual way.
In this post we invite you to know what virtual tours are, why they are at the vanguard in education and entertainment, and why it is a tool that came to settle and take over the market.
Although we find different devices and technologies dedicated to Virtual Reality, most of them share the same essential components for its correct operation. Virtual Tours can be lived at their best when these conditions are met:
The end result of these factors is to provide a total immersive experience, with locations emulated by high-quality graphics, 360º degree motion and interactive multimedia content. The objective is to achieve the greatest sense of immersion posible, to be able to simulate real spaces with the highest precision and also to create new spaces and high-quality immersive contents.
No, to take a Virtual Tour it is not necessary to have VR glasses. Virtual tours can be designed for all platforms, including smartphones, tablets, computers or smart televisions. As long as you have internet access, you can enjoy available tours on the web and be a part of the new experience. In the same way, owning a VR set takes that experience to a higher level, which is why there are a variety of brands dedicated to developing VR or VR sets, with different types, prices and qualities.
Among the essential specs a VR should have are a wide field of vision, the resolution of image, the tracking system, and finally high quality sound either through headphones or small speakers. If you are interested in knowing more about VR sets, our CEO Juan Reyes can tell you a little more about them in this video
There’s a wide variety of companies that already have this technology incorporated into their projects or logistics. Among them the most outstanding are the tourism industry, commercial, showrooms, accessory stores, educational institutions, job training agencies, mining companies, security companies, and many more.
A permanent technological innovation and the consolidation of VR in these areas make its growth and respective specialization imminent, opening the field for new applications. Here you’ll learn which industries are driving to implement this technology and the impact that trend is showing.
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Virtual Tours in Tourism Industry.
All over the world tourism agencies are implementing this technology as part of their logistics. This helps them offer their services by showing in an immersive way the attractions of hotels or tourist destinations.
Yoy Simulators developed a 360º virtual tour of the Oncol National Park in Chile, where with the help of high-quality multimedia content, you can choose to have a guided tour or a free tour. Both offer information about the place, its flora and fauna, and to enjoy beautiful landscapes and relax with the sounds of nature, from the comfort of your home. You can try it here (http://tourvirtual.parqueoncol.cl/)
Virtual Tours in Showrooms.
Virtual showrooms have been widely used during the pandemic. Many companies with online stores opted for this alternative to resist the economic onslaught of confinement rules, offering from their web platforms tours to show their products and be able to buy them in their online stores.
Cultural and Educational Virtual Tours.
It is one of the areas in which it will have the greatest impact over time, due to its acceptance within the academic field, its normalization in use by teachers/institutions and the pedagogical efficiency observed in the results. The best universities in the world, as well as cultural institutions, museums, theme parks and training centers are opting for virtual tours as part of their teaching subjects. In Chile, we worked with the prestigious AIEP Professional Institute of Andrés Bello University, making a virtual tour of its production facilities (link).
Currently there are many organizations and entities that use this tool, among them we have the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris which since 2013 offers virtual tours and nowadays provides important information about its reconstruction; or the Louvre Museum in the same city, which closed its doors since the beginning of the pandemic but enabled virtual tours of many of its exhibitions. This has allowed different audiences from different parts of the world to access these places and has therefore encouraged other large museums to join the list. Notable examples include the Prado Museum in Madrid, the British Museum of London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York or the Archaeological Museum of Athens. In Mexico, one of the countries where this alternative has been most widely adopted, we can find up to 36 museums with virtual tours.
Virtual Tours in Heavy Industries (mining, resources extraction, manufacturing, etc)
Virtual Tours are an optimal solution for heavy industries thanks to its application as a training tool that reduces risks of exposing personnel and avoids human and material losses. It is also a tool to show in an immersive way the facilities, products, the specific job and services a new employee should perform. In Yoy Simulators we have a great variety of tours dedicated to this area, such as a virtual tour in an underground mine (link).
**Marketing Oriented Virtual Tours. **
One of the reasons why VR has gained reputation among companies as a marketing tool, is that it increases the reach of a company by providing location tools and first-person virtual 3D maps, useful to optimize their presence in markets and search engines, also enhancing the positioning in social networks generating a different content, among other benefits.
Virtual Tours in Real Estate
It's maybe one of the most widely used virtual tours. Real estate and architecture projects offer reliable prototypes of the premises, making them an extremely effective tool in this field. Large companies such as Ebay offer virtual tours of properties for sale or rent, which has generated a positive impact for the company.
We can list several factors why VR has earned a place within these industries, among them we have the versatility that this technology has to adapt and venture in any field. In matters of training and education, studies show greater cognitive effectiveness, and an increase in the capacities of users to develop what they learned. Finally, in financial terms, virtual tours offer the reduction of the cost and time of training for workers and a reduction in occupational accidents and improvements in profitability.
Photo credit: Wessex Archaeology on Visualhunt.com
Here’s what makes virtual tours so special: In the first place we can say that its fame is due to its accessibility; currently there are many companies that use this technology to show their facilities, their products, take educational tours, location services, training, entertainment, among many other processes. Secondly, because of this practical way of being available to everyone, the possibility of getting to know iconic, tourist places, shops or new digitally created environments remotely, makes it possible that anyone in the world with internet access can be part of this experience. Finally, virtual tours offer a safe place for no one to deprive themselves for whatever reason, of knowing and learning.
The versatility of virtual tours has improved its positioning as a transversal technology applicable to all work areas and its effectiveness within them. According to Carlos García, from Capgemini Invent, in Spain it is expected that in the next 5 years VR technology and Virtual Tours will be implemented in all companies that lead the markets, becoming an important part of the growth of companies in the future. Large companies such as the Hyundai automotive company in Peru have created Virtual Showrooms, where you can visit their facilities, see the available vehicles, board them and consult the information of their vehicles in detail. Another case is that of the Simmons company in Argentina, which has created a virtual showroom where it elegantly and sophisticatedly displays all its product lines.
In another of the areas that has transcended is within the academic field and this is due to its level of efficiency, one of the most ambitious projects within this field is the one carried out by Harvard University where augmented reality is used to study the pyramids of Giza, giving access to thousands of students from different areas to study this historical heritage site. Another example worth mentioning is that of the Complutense University of Madrid, which since 2011 uses virtual simulation tools to teach its medical students through games and simulated experiences how to work in an operating room.
Virtual Tours managed to gain popularity among companies, but it is worth mentioning that it was not until the global health crisis and the pandemic caused by the spread of SARS - COVID-19 that their use was consolidated.
It's advantages are obvious, since they allow the public to attend, know, learn, visit, experiment and consume remotely. Given the restrictive measures taken by the governments of the world, Virtual Tours are the solution for many companies that had to face the economic decline generated by social immobilization. Virtual tours are a safe and reliable alternative to encourage consumption and reactivate local economies. Above all, being able to continue learning by having access to quality, interactive and effective virtual education can be a huge aid in this complicated global context.
If you are interested in knowing how VR can be applied to your business, at Yoy Simulators we can provide you with the necessary tools and information, just click here.