360 cameras for the masses
360 cameras are a new toy. A few enthusiasts have them and flooded the internet with weird pictures with a circle in the middle of the picture containing a scene that looks like it is sucked into a vortex and with lots of blue all around it. And if that would not be enough, in the middle of the picture is either a giant hand or a weird looking dude that for some reason is smiling going into the vortex. You know I’m right. You’ve seen yourself. Because yes, that is one of the differences of taking a regular picture of a scene and a 360 panorama. You can’t get out of a panorama.
And yes, there are remotes, there is software that can “remove” you, but it’s not as easy as pulling the camera or phone from your pocket and posting it on the internet. However, Facebook and YouTube are now making it easier to upload a panorama.
Facebook and YouTube are taking this 360 trend very seriously. Facebook has a team working in a Facebook Group to help people interested in the subject to post and share 360 media. YouTube has whole new channel called 360 Videos featuring daily media and it id making it easier to filter for 360 Videos.
So why 360? Why the appeal for it? Well, there’s the obvious immersive experience. With the growth of VR, and the multitude of VR headsets that are invading the market, VR can become more of an utility than just a novelty.
Best 10 uses for 360 video and panoramas
1. Real Estate
This is an obvious one. 360 panoramas in RealEstate are used for a while now. But I think the industry will take it to the next level. Imagine a virtual guided tour. Imagine a real estate agent guiding the virtual you (that would be played by an operator with a camera on its head) through the entire house, giving you details about the house, the backyard, the pool. Now if this is not like the real thing, what if you are looking for a house in a far away country. Then you would appreciate this.
2. Car Sales
New car sales are already doing a great job at showcasing the inside of the cars with detailed pictures and brochures. But what about used cars? Do you get the feel from seeing a few pictures on an add, on the internet on how that car “feels” ? Imagine sitting in the car, looking around at all the features, the back seats the roof. Used car sales can definitely benefit from this. A smart car salesmen can buy a simple camera like STUNTMAN G Body Mount for less than 300$, mount it on a 10$ Mini Tripod Mount and use his phone as a remote to capture a virtual tour of a car. This trick might just get him that buyer sitting in front of the computer to love the car and get there to see it.
3. Virtual Travel
Well, for one, you don’t need to go anywhere anymore. You just need to open Google Maps Street View and be anywhere you want to be in the world. But the Travel agencies can take it further. They are already sending their people to the hotels and resorts around the world to give you first hand reviews. But what if you could go with them? What if one of these people would mount a Kodak PIXPRO SP360 Action Cam on a STUNTMAN G Body Mount. What if you could sit with them by the pool, be served at the restaurant, jump in the ocean (yes, there are waterproof camera’s too) or enjoy part of a show. That would really convince you to buy one resort versus another,.
4. Virtual human experiences
There is a large spectrum here. Your friends could shoot a video at a party you can’t attend to, or a hike you missed or a great gathering you can’t get to. Imagine you can relive all that later with your phone and a simple Google Cardboard. Or take it even further and visit your family far away, watch a basketball game recorded by your buddy from the seat next to him, relive your friends trip from his perspective. Showing pictures from your trip can turn into a VR night to remember.
5. Training and Seminars
This can be very effective. Instead of watching a dull screen and hear a voice in the speaker, you could “have a seat” in the audience, see the expression on the faces of the people next to you. I think the training can be way more effective with an immersive experience like that.
6. Virtual impossible experiences
Are you afraid to do bungee jumping? To jump out of a plane, to go rapid river rafting? How about to go on a trip to the Moon, or to the international space station. Well, Unless you have millions of dollars, these are impossible experience that can be made possible using VR and 360 video.
7. Virtual Shopping
Oh, don’t say it wont happen. This will happen. There are way too many opportunities to monetize this experience. Maybe you are not interested to visit your local mall but others might be. You might be interested to visit a mall in Dubai, a fashion street in Rome or Paris or an expensive jewelry store where you would not feel comfortable setting foot in. What if you could buy what you see? Imagine the possibilities $ $ $
8. Virtual Art, Movies
This is a definite posibility, it is happening already to a certain degree. VR Movies, VR art galeries, VR museums. To visit the Vatican, the Louvre, Royal Ontario Museum, Aquariums. Possibilities are endless.
What if you put on your Google Cardboard on with your phone in it and you spend your lunch break on your favorite beach. Or in a flower garden listening to a music that will deeply relax you. Or watching the people walk by in Central Park. VR will take relaxation to another level
10. Risk taking and adventure
And last but not least… extreme sports and extreme experiences. Do a zip line in Peru, jump out of the airplane or ride the largest roller-coaster in the world. Or ride an actual roller coaster and imagine you are flying through a town as Superman.
These are just a few. I can’t even imagine what the future will bring. But sure is exiting.
Do you know any uses that I may have missed? Do you have a business or know someone that already does some of these? Leave us line or a comment in our community page on Facebook. I would love to hear from you.