What is a Virtual Tour? All the Things about This New Trend

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Nowadays, a virtual tour becomes a new trend since traveller addicts cannot leave their home to do their hobby due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Thanks to innovation and technology, staying at home is now less boring because you can access the official website of tourist spots to explore their beauty from home.

But, do you know when the trend of the virtual tour is started? Who starts this new trend? Curious, aren’t you? Let us explain to you more.

1. The History of Virtual Tour

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.

The term ‘virtual tour’ is introduced in 1994. The first example of a virtual tour was a museum visitor interpretive tour, consisting of ‘walk-through’ of a 3D reconstruction of Dudley Castle in England. This consisted of a computer-controlled laserdisc based system designed by British-based engineer, Colin Johnson.

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One of the first users of a virtual tour was Queen Elizabeth II. She has officially opened the visitor centre in June 1994. Because the Queen’s officials had requested titles, descriptions, and instructions of all activities, the system was named and described as: “Virtual Tour, being a cross between Virtual Reality and Royal Tour.”

Details of the original project can be viewed online. The system was featured in a conference held by the British Museum in November 1994 and a subsequent technical paper.

2. Video-based Virtual Tour

With the expansion of video on the internet, video-based virtual tours are growing in popularity. Video cameras are used to walk-through real subject properties. But, capturing high-quality video requires significantly more technical skill and equipment than taking digital still pictures.

Video also eliminates viewer control of the tour. Therefore, the tour is the same for all viewers and the subject matter is chosen by the videographer.

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With the development of technology, some of the official websites using Google’s system to use a 360-degree camera. So, the viewer can explore a certain place without any boundary.

3. Accessible from Everywhere

For most business purposes, a virtual tour must be accessible from everywhere. The major solution is a web-based virtual tour. Besides, a rich and useful virtual tour is not just a series of panoramic pictures. A better experience can be obtained by viewing a variety of materials such as that obtained from videos, texts, and still pictures in interactive web content.

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4. Virtual Walks

Virtual walks appeal to those who want to experience the sights and sounds of particular places in the country or the world, but who may not have the time or the financial or physical resources to travel there. They also appeal to treadmill or elliptical trainer users, where walking or running while watching these videos enhances the reality of the experience.

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The effect is to allow viewers to experience the sights they will see and the sounds they will hear where they travelling along a particular route at the same place as the camera. Virtual walks based on real-world photography typically do not require the use of virtual reality goggles or headsets of the kind used by gamers.