What is 360 Virtual Reality Photography and its Importance

Author-Avtar Singh

 Let us understand the term first! Although virtual reality has gained immense popularity since the last few years, this term could be quite new to some. So let us first understand what is Virtual Reality? Virtual in its literal form means ‘implied’ or ‘in effect’ and reality means ‘existence’ or ‘actuality’. So in its literal sense, 360 Virtual Reality photography could be understood as something that is in the state of ‘implied existence’ or that, which is ‘actually in-effect’.

 Virtual Reality works on the fact that human beings use their senses to gather, interpret, and act on the information. The sensory system helps us perceive the world around us through our sense organs and the information thus sent to the brain is interpreted and action is taken accordingly.

Using this mechanism, the VR technology creates a surrounding wherein our sensory system along with the brain, makes us feel as if we are actually present in the virtual world. We can see, feel, hear, and even smell in the virtual world thus created! It makes the user ‘immerse’ in the virtual world.

What is 360 Virtual Reality Photography and its Importance

Only the extensive use of extraordinary visuals, established environmental sounds and spatial characteristics could achieve a powerful sense of presence in the virtual world. We can say, the right combination of hardware, software, and sensory synchronicity will handle a proper implementation of Virtual Reality!

So that is the power of virtual reality technology! Now let us understand what is 360° VR  photography!

WHAT IS 360 VR PHOTOGRAPHY?

With the rise of Virtual Reality technology, the world of photography has also taken an incredible leap in innovation- the ‘360 photography’.

360 VR photography can be explained as the art of capturing and exploring the entire 360 degree of the scene around the camera. The viewer has the liberty to explore through the entire screen by merely scrolling or swiping across the screen or by using a VR-headset.

HOW ARE 360 IMAGES CAPTURED?

The 360 images are captured by special DSLR cameras built for this purpose. These specially designed cameras take pictures using two or three lenses facing different directions, which are installed in them. This means, using this technique you can capture a location from multiple angles. The different images taken by these lenses are then stitched together using special software to create full 360° images.

So now you can literally create a virtual tour of the entire scene you captured, providing the viewer with the experience as if they were present in the very center of the action! They can explore through the entire scene, by rotating it in all directions, like, to the sides, upwards and downwards, enter or exit any room, zoom-in, and zoom-out, read the text, click links, watch videos, etc!!

WHY WOULD WE USE 360 PHOTOS?

 360 photos offer the opportunity for people to take the panoramic view around an axis, thus capturing the entire landscape, scene, or room in a single shot. Where a normal camera is limited to just capturing the front view of the lens, the 360° camera will capture the whole scene allowing you to get ‘immersed’ in the scene, where you can see above or behind, forward or backward, all in one seamless image!

WHY DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A STRONG 360° virtual PHOTOGRAPHY?

Business-minded people around the world know when to grab an opportunity when life offers them one! Now, 360° photography has come to their disposition for capitalizing their business.

 The following advantages are helping them manifold:

  • Pictures used for interaction with the customers:-

Well, with the availability of 360° photos, the prospective clients can get an exact idea of what your business has to offer. You save time and effort to write or give lengthy descriptions because the photos say it all! And moreover, the prospective clients save their time on-site visits too. Businesses using 360 images are receiving 10% more online coverage than those who don’t, according to statistics.

  •  Lead-generating power of your Website increases:-

 With the 360 Virtual Reality photography incorporated to your website, makes it more appealing and this generates more traffic to your website and consequently more leads. It makes your visitors stay longer on your website, thus giving a boost to your search engine ranking. That results in your website being at the top of the search results, thus attracting further organic traffic. So, adding of 360° photography renders your website a high-technology ambiance that results in profit-making techniques!

  • Boosting customer engagement:-

 360° photography lets people immerse in the photos and find enjoyable engagement with your business know-how. According to statistics, people browse the websites 10x longer, if they find something as interesting and engaging as 360° photos on it. Owing to this popularity, businesses have started to find the opportunity of turning visitors to paying customers!

  •  Help in boosting sales:-

 If you thought 360 photography just adds an appealing factor to your website, then that’s not the only feature! It makes your website more efficient and the best part is, it makes it more profitable.

A website that has 360° photos on it, is found to be 46% more profitable to the business, than the one, that uses still images! Now that’s pretty much the difference!! Businesses that use immersive 360° photos are known to enjoy up to 135 % increase in revenue and that’s truly amazing!!

WHERE IS 360 PHOTOGRAPHY USED THE MOST?

 Owing to the engagement, efficiency, and profitability that it brings along, 360° photography is widely used these days for businesses, like, real estate, hotels, retail industry, restaurant, airlines, universities, manufacturers, etc.

  • For Real Estate:-

Real Estate industry is widely using 360° photography for their visitors on websites. Pictures of the property are captured and linked together to form a virtual tour.

This is then uploaded on their website for the prospective buyers to view and explore the entire property, just as they would with a regular tour. They can look around the property in detail: like they can enter the rooms, exit the rooms, and even look around to get a fair idea of the area of the property!

  •  For Hotels:

Similarly, as real estate, hotels also make the most of this technology to draw their prospective guests to their business. Hotels showcase their rooms and the surroundings online, so as to allow the prospective guests to explore the venue and the interior and make their choices of bookings accordingly.

360° VR photography creates a sense of immersion, thus allowing the user to explore the space themselves, which otherwise, is harder to achieve with regular photography.

  •  Other Businesses:-

Various businesses around the world are resorting to 360° VR photography since this technology is perfect for them to showcase their services or businesses in an interesting way which is ‘immersive’ and convenient for their prospective customers. With its compatibility with Google Maps and Google My Business, 360° photography can help you make your business more visible online!

  • For Social Media:-

 360 photography has seen phenomenal success among social media users too. It has become quite a sensation for the social media businesses around the world. 360° photography is supported by leading social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps, and owing to the ease with which it can be uploaded, it has gathered its share of loyal users around the world!

TIPS AND TRICK TO SHOOT YOUR FIRST 360 PHOTO:

If you are really excited about this trending technology, then you must learn a few tips and tricks that might take you a long way while clicking 360° photos like a pro! Adapting to new skills and keeping your self updated is the keyword though.

To start with, you need to remember that, the camera covers the entire 360° of the surrounding, so make sure to hide out if you don’t want to be seen yourself. (you can use the timer feature here)

If you want to present some really amazing views, keep in mind that you shoot at a place with plenty of interesting features around. A good quality tripod can be considered as the must-have accessory as it is used for holding the camera firmly. A stable camera ensures better picture outcomes.

Another point to keep in mind here is, to ensure that there are no objects close to the lens, while you are taking shots. This makes it difficult for the camera to stitch the images together in an accurate manner.

Though these basic tips might help get started with 360 photography, you still need to learn much regarding the advancements in shooting to become a proficient photographer.

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