It’s important to remember that while plenty of channels currently exist for you to experience video in 360°, the majority of these will be hosting content that ranges from smooth, broadcast-quality video to choppy videos riddled with ads.
Platform can be just as important as content, particularly in a medium as reliant on smooth user experiences as VR. Remember that larger content platforms will often be relying on massive revenue, and ads are one of the easiest ways for them to achieve this.
The drawback is that when it comes to user experience, nothing detracts from this as much as ads. And no form of media is as dependent on a smooth, uninterrupted user experience as virtual reality.
Find the right relationship between platform and content
With that in mind, YouTube and Vimeo may be great for the odd video or two, but if you’re looking for a seemless experience then specialist hosting sites are the way to go. Many dedicated 360VR video and touring sites are currently on the market, and most of these will have some areas of specialisation. AirPano and 360VirtualTours, for instance, focus on aerial 360 video captured by drones, which is great if you’re looking for a new perspective on the world through VR.
Estate agents and housing websites have seen varied success with hosting VR video, and most of this comes from a confusion over how to provide the best user experience. Still images are great, but a guided tour where a user can look around the full environment at their will offers a more honest and immersive look at a property.
Interest is growing – time to catch up
VR technology (and platforms to exhibit it) are all still in their infancy, so don’t be put off if you aren’t getting the smoothest of experiences right out of the box. A recent Coldwell Banker's 2018 Smart Home Marketplace Survey study found that the majority of American homebuyers want their estate agents to offer VR video. It might come as less of a surprise that estate agents are lagging in this area, and the ones who are up-to-date are still struggling to find the best methods of user experience.
Dedicated VR hosting sites such as 3xplor put user experience at the forefront of their architecture. No ads stand in the way of the user’s journey, there’s no reason to be taking a headset off and putting it back on again in between videos, and most importantly, everything’s covered.
Whether you’re looking for properties, gyms, clubs, bars, hotels, or just about any kind of interior you might be interested in seeing before you step through the door, it’s all just a virtual journey away. The technology’s likely to already be in your home, if not your pocket, and with many forecasters predicting upwards of 50 million VR headsets sold by 2020, it’s only a matter of time before VR user experiences are the norm.
3xplor makes searching for property, places and things to do an adventure with 360° tours, video and virtual reality.
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