Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rethinking "Virtual Tours" in Real Estate

For years, real estate pros have offered a service called Virtual Tours.  These tours were created using a camera which took snapshots of a house, inside or outside, and then "seemed" them together to make a panoramic view.  One of the notable virtual tour companies is a company called ipix.

Technically speaking, these panoramic images pieced together represent a photo, but in a continuous view and in two dimensional however not three dimensional.  In addition, the viewer can only rotate or spin the view in a two dimensional state.

With the birth of Virtual Worlds like Second Life and Kaneva, we need to rethink using the term Virtual Tours. Users are represented as avatars and are able to walk, run, or fly in 3D.

One possibility of rethinking is to categorize or label the type of virtual tour it is, real world or virtual world. Another possibility is to label as photo tour for 2D and  virtual world tour for 3D.

With this rethinking in place, a whole new market would open up for machinima vendors to come on board and offer news services to sellers in virtual worlds.   Also, current photo tour companies could move into this market and add to their current services.