Virtual tours create a visual representation of a location in a panoramic and 360-degree view using virtual tour software. While often used for educational and entertainment – such as tours of museums and sites of cultural interest – visual tours also have a number of uses in the business and organizational arenas. Whether used to promote your business, or to manage your facilities, a virtual tour can be a valuable addition to a virtual event – taking the place of a real-life on-site tour.
Some benefits of virtual tours for businesses include:
- enhancing your presence on search with google business view. They can help showcase your business and stand out from the competition;
- increase site visitor retention, traffic, and engagement;
- generate faster and more sales; and,
- attract more job applicants.
Virtual tours can also be of great use for facilities management. The tour can be used to create a digital twin that gives immersive access to critical building intelligence. This intelligence can be used to survey your existing buildings, manage maintenance and develop remodeling plans, optimize equipment installation, create a visual record of equipment inventory, and optimize your emergency planning & response.
There are a number of free, open-source virtual software solutions available. Some examples include:
- Lapentor is a cloud-based tool with a user-friendly, intuitive interface. It works on PC, mobile, and VR;
- OpenSpace3D is designed to create virtual and augmented-reality applications or games;
- Marzipano provides a 360-degree media viewer – from a set of panoramas, you can generate a virtual tour for your organization;
- Makevt includes tutorials, workshops, and offers a customizable platform for tour creation and hosting;
- Vtility can create interactive virtual tours and walkthroughs and interactive plans without programming and only with pictures and plans;
- Paneek is free virtual tour software specifically for the real estate market; and,
- Panoroo allows you to upload and build panoramas with the help of a mobile editor, directly from your phone.