While there wasn’t a great deal of virtual reality (VR) news at Google I/O last week one announcement came by way of the company’s blog, revealing Tour Creator, a platform for teachers and students to build their own 360-degree tours. But Tour Creator is more than just a portal to help young minds create immersive content, it can also be used by companies to showcase their business to customers and employees.
Google created Tour Creator as way for anyone to tell a story in 360-degrees using either imagery from Google Street View as a base or even their own 360-degree photos. It’s Expeditions initiative allows school children to take immersive field trips anywhere in the world whilst never leaving the classroom, proving so popular that kids wanted to feature their own communities.
For businesses, Tour Creator offers a new opportunity to promote themselves, whether that taking a tour of a hotel prior to booking or viewing an apartment without having to make the journey.
Since its launch some companies have already begun to embrace the platform like real estate company Moinian Group, Spectrum Designs, nonprofit organisation that employs adults with autism and Time Out New York. Spectrum Designs is using Tour Creator to train new staff says Tim Howe, their COO: “An individual with autism can be very sensitive to sights and sounds. With Tour Creator, we can show them exactly what to expect their first day on the job.”
“Tour Creator is super useful for journalists because it creates an experience that is a lot more interactive and immersive than video itself would be,” says Delia Barth, Content Producer at Time Out. “Time Out is all about helping people discover amazing things to do and Tour Creator helps us do just that.”
After creators make their tours they can then be uploaded to Google’s 3D content library Poly. This allows anyone to experience the tour with just a URL link, enabling the tour to be embedded in a website to view on a browser or through a Google Cardboard headset. VRFocus will continue to follow further updates and announcements to Tour Creator, reporting back with the latest news.