What is a virtual tour
A virtual tour is basically the full visualisation of a location using a technological device such a mobile, a computer or a virtual reality headset. In our field, it’s also called a walkthrough.
A virtual tour, technically, is a series of 360-degree images that you can walk through. To achieve these virtual scenarios, you can use 360-degree images in 2D, but they can also be generated artificially through 3D rendering software. Hence its expansion into the world of architecture and interior design.
Virtual Tours in architecture
Thanks to 3D modelling and virtual reality, an architecture studio can show its clients a very detailed likeness of what their home will look like, or office, hotel or any kind of infrastructure that they want to build or refurbish, for that matter.
Probably the greatest added value offered by virtual reality in architecture is that clients can interact with the scenarios in their project (such as removing or adding furniture, changing materials, turning lights on or off, and so on).
Virtual tours are supported by a remarkably simple and easy-to-use interface. You can see the materials and textures with which the spaces are going to be built and also the exact dimensions on the virtual tour. No longer do you have to imagine what the space will be like, as you can literally get the feel for the chosen furniture and décor. In fact, a 3D tour can go a step further and provide added information within a virtual scenario, such as notes or clarifications.
Virtual tours are also becoming a key tool for estate agents. Being able to show the details of a property on a virtual walkthrough is a unique selling point and an added attraction. This has nothing to do with traditional photos, which make it more difficult to get a clear and objective idea of the actual layout and design. Three-dimensional images are also really useful for construction companies, which can show not just the interiors of a property, but also the shared areas of a residential development. What’s more, the entire industry can now render indoor or outdoor spaces with amazing precision thanks to 3D imaging technology.
In this sense, a virtual tour also takes on the role of an architectural marketing tool. Being able to visualise such a realistic version of the building and its surroundings in the planning phase makes decision-making much more accurate and attractive. This added value can be vital when it comes to a major investment, such as a hotel or residential complex.
That’s why virtual tours and, in general, arch viz are a staple in an industry in which 3D imaging technology is becoming more and more essential.