With Google Maps and Street View growing in popularity, I am bewildered as to why 360 virtual tour photography not only hasn’t taken over from conventional photography but has barely made an impression on the consciousness of the content hungry consumerkind.
If you want to see what I mean, check these guys out:
By my reckoning there are huge opportunities today for photographers and marketers alike. 360 does everything conventional (non-360) photography does, and a bucket load more. Not least, allow you to swivel right round to survey your entire environment…well, 360 degrees.
Why hasn’t 360 yet replaced a significant proportion of the far more boring conventional photography on the web – every house for sale, every hotel room, every restaurant, every leisure attraction, every event and just about everything else that benefits from showcasing a space?
It’s not new technology. It’s been around eons. And it’s relatively accessible and affordable, either by hiring a local photographer or purchasing the kit and doing it yourself. Interactive ‘hot spots’ on the photograph mean businesses can link to other views or content, perfect for highlighting specific products and offers. There’s simply no reason not to want to replace all those tired old lifeless non-360 shots on your site, that don’t allow your visitors to interact with or explore your space and wares. There were concerns some time ago that loading times were slow but not so with modern browsers.
And there are now cheap devices and apps that let Jo Schmo have a go (check out: www.pixeet.com). Think about facebook? Imagine how much sexier all those shots of your raucous Friday nights, kite surfing off the coast of Antigua and tiger back rides in deepest Sri Lanka would look if they could be viewed in 360 degrees.
Google is promoting 360 globally on it’s products and even developing a business model hiring local photographers to take the shots for placement on its various platforms, integrating with Street View to showcase local businesses.
So why isn’t 360 everywhere? Search 10 local restaurants and tell me how many have it on their site. I’d be surprised if you find one.
When colour photography superseded black and white it was a no brainer. When digital superseded film, likewise. What happened with 360? And 360 video is out there now so even the next stage of the evolution is already with us. Check out what Yellowbird is doing for the advertising and entertainment industries and let your imagination run riot with the myriad possibilities of this – http://bit.ly/17mkBP. Watch this space for live streaming 360 video.
My prediction? 360 cometh.