When looking at how Virtual Tour platforms are designed, processed, and delivered, there are such a wide range of results going off of opinion alone will not bring you to the right conclusion on which platform to use. Time, Cost, and Ease of use are great starting points but barely scratch the surface when deciding which platform to base your business services from. To start at the very beginning, a basic understanding of various virtual tour alignment methods and their respective patent holders is helpful.
- Manhattan Geometry such as Cupix (US Patents: US7155698B1,
- Iterative Closest Point algorithm used in Google Street View (US
- Inverse Graphic Capture Systems found in Matterport (US Patents: US10529141B2, US20190014310A1)
1. Time Savings
Nobody wants to waste hours moderating a tour. If the time to moderate a tour will never be offset in cost by a client, then your time is your most valuable resource. This means that any tour that auto-aligns panos for your offers tremendous cost-saving benefits in a time factor alone. We can break virtual tour time down into three important categories: Capturing, Processing, and Moderating.
Constant Capture Platforms
There is no such thing as a free virtual tour. You can come close, but equiptment and software costs will always be a factor.
3. Measurement Accuracy Benefits
One of the biggest benefits you can reap from a well done virtual tour is an accurate set of measurements from an accurate alignment process. Without an alignment process in place, you are left with tours that aren’t scalable or measurable. This is a big differentiator between platforms as very few have the capabilities to generate a floor plan, and fewer still to scale that floorplan to a size that is over 100,000 sq ft. As more and more software platforms incorporate the ability to embed a Virtual Tour API, offering advanced features becomes a necessity to the long-term survival of the platform. This is where a handful out of the hundreds of Virtual Tour platforms really deliver on results. The field results below show that Cupix and Matterport fall within 1% accuracy of hand measurements AND Lidar measurements. Your virtual tour has gone from a piece of pure content marketing to a workflow critical asset. (cubicasa, immoviewer)
4. Tour Results
Clients care very little about how easy or hard it is to navigate the platform you choose to work in. To them, all that matters are results that impress and to that end
Google Street View Publishable
API Enabled List
6. Privacy Concerns
When creating tours for Banks, Government offices, or for risk management there will always be a privacy concern. Any tour provider that creates a public URL as a deliverable opens it up to a host of security risks. This means that tours that can be created offline and executed offline offer these industries much needed security benefits. The list below shows Virtual Tour platforms that offer self-hosting executables and client-side tour moderation.
7. Ease of Platform Use
When determining ease of use, look no further than Ben Claremont’s Virtual Tour video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKkQQ0aHRSc
8. Hardware Agnostic
Nearly every tour provider is hardware agnostic with the exception of Matterport, that now charges a premium for use of their camera with their platform.
9. Patented Technology
List of Providers with Approved Patents