The best software for virtual tours and how to pick the right one?

We’re nearing two years of living through a pandemic. Even with populations achieving herd immunity with vaccination programs, it’s still a health risk to move about mask-free. In instances where you can only view and tour places online, what’s the best software for virtual tours?

 A virtual tour software is a virtual reality video platform that showcases both pre-recorded and live footage of a particular place. Several industries use virtual tour software to conduct real estate viewings or to take groups of people through cities and monuments of historical and economical significance.

In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the market’s best software for virtual tours that you can pick based on the purpose you’re thinking of.

1. What Is Virtual Tour Software?

 What Is Virtual Tour Software?

A virtual tour software is a tool that makes use of 3D maps, images, audio and video clips to create an immersive exploration of the place being showcased. It is heavily used by real estate, tourism and Higher education sectors to provide a guided tour of a particular place and location. 

Virtual tour software is more informative and engaging than reading about a place from an online and/or offline source. It’s the closest thing to being in that place at that time, letting prospective flat or house buyers or tourists make an informed decision. Virtual tour software lets people upload panoramic shots which are then connected into a virtual walkthrough using Hot Spots. Hot spots are buttons that allow movements between locations or rooms. 

The tour created remains in the cloud or can be downloaded, depending on the options the platform offers. You can share the tour via email or text which opens into a 360 tour when people click it. Virtual tours work by giving the user control over where they’d like to start and where they will go next. The tours also give the audience an estimate of the dimensions of the space they’re viewing. For example, a tenant answering a ‘To-Let’ ad can view the rooms from the comfort of their screen and decide if they want to move ahead with a deal or not.  

2. What Is the Difference Between Virtual Tour and 3d Tour?

Difference Between Virtual Tour and 3d Tour
Virtual 360 TourImmersive 3D Tour
Experience:

A 360 virtual tour comprises panoramas in a slideshow. The user can point out spots on the pano shot and add a short text, video clip or website link. 
Experience:
3D tours offer 3D navigation and depth making the user feel that they’re on site, more so if they are wearing VR headsets.
Spatial awareness:
Virtual tours are sight-led and convey the ambiance by sight and sound rather than space.

Spatial awareness:
3D tours are emotionally-driven and contain a floor plan with real markings of the spatial dimensions such as width, height, distances. It enables visitors to explore their surroundings with better spatial awareness, making the experience more immersive.
Rendering Technology
A 360 virtual tour is a complete view of a physical property. It does not have a schematic floor plan.
Rendering Technology
A 3D tour meshes physical images and renders it into a space. There is a 3D model of the floor plan.

3. Six Best Virtual Tour Software 2021

Six Best Virtual Tour Software 2021

3.1 Kuula

Kuula

About

Kuula is a web-based 360 virtual tour software. The company is based in Los Angeles,U.S.A and was launched in 2016.

Highlights

  1. Horizon correction, zoom limits, filters & lens flares
  2. WebXR API integration that lets you view images via VR standalone or PC headsets such as Oculus Go and HTC Vive.
  3. Gaze navigation in VR mode.
  4. Works with DSLR photos 

Pros 

  1. Great customer support 
  2. Set up and deployment is straightforward.
  3. You can embed images into a frame on a website via code.

Cons

Some users have reported that the features are limited and do not include animated hot spots or screen maps.

Pricing

The Basic plan is free, while the Pro and Business plans cost $16 and $36/month respectively.

3.2 Ricoh Theta Tours

Ricoh Theta Tours

About

Ricoh Theta  is an app that lets users create shareable virtual 360 tours. Although it was established in 1936 as a camera manufacturer. By 2020, the Ricoh 360 tours virtual tour software emerged.

Highlights

  1. AI image enhancement
  2. Auto image cropping
  3. AI video maker
  4. Staging assistance for virtual home tours-  The AI arranges 360-degree images in empty rooms to enable visitors to picture themselves living in a furnished dwelling.
  5. A mobile agent app that creates a 360° virtual tour listing in minutes. 
  6. Photo selection from your phone’s gallery in 2D

Pros 

  1. Several downloads options depending on device.
  2. Editing, stitching and file uploads and transfers are easy

Cons

Ricoh can be downloaded only from the website and is currently not on Playstore

Pricing

The free plan lasts for 2 weeks and contains all the features of the business plan. The Pro plan costs $45 and Business $69/month.

3.3 Lapentor

Lapentor

About

Lapentor is a cloud-based virtual tour software that is based in Vietnam.

Highlights

  1. Facility to add, edit and manage hotspots
  2. 9 types of hotspots for directional sounds,video, links, scene connectors, photos, notes and lensflare
  3. 21 custom plugins to enhance the video project
  4. 6 themes with 4 control bars for error correction and pointer control

Pros 

  1. Lapentor lets you use hosting options or self-host, as more hosting options such as self-hosting and 
  2. You can embed virtual tours on client websites.
  3. Virtual tours can be zipped and emailed to clients to view at their convenience.
  4. Affordable

Cons

There’s not a lot of information on the company’s founder so there aren’t many reviews on how the tool feels when in use.

Pricing

Lapentor is free for 3 projects and costs $25/month under the Premium subscription. If you wish to self-host, the price is $15/month from Aug 2021 onwards.

3.4 Klapty

Klapty

About

Klapty is an online tour platform for creating and sharing virtual tours. Klapty is the best software for virtual tours, having been pioneered by COO and CEO Corentin Saez and Raynald Salah. The duo turned their passion for photography into 360 degree tour photo shoots..

Highlights

  1. Facility to add floor plan to clickable views
  2. Users can enhance 360 and panoramic photos
  3. Blurring too
  4. Compatible with Virtual reality headsets
  5. You can embed  to websites

Pros 

1.You can privatize virtual tours and protect them with a password for the safety of your guests.

2. Logos are customizable and you can redirect visitors from the virtual tour to your website. 

3. Klapty’s range of features let you showcase your work on freelancing platforms or prepare for virtual tours for home and office space viewings.I like how easy it is to create a floor plan even if you have no prior experience.

Cons

This isn’t a con as such but I feel the Gold plan would get more users if the pricing was a bit discounted.other than this, Klapty is the best software for virtual tours!.

Pricing

The Gold unlimited plan costs $39.9/month while the Pro plan costs $9.9/month

3.5 Matterport

Matterport

About

Matterport is a 3D data platform and spatial data company. It was founded in 2011 in Sunnyvale, California (US).

Highlights

  1. Matterport’s digital twin apes the real-world place or object. It uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to create accurate 3D digital counterparts of the places you’re viewing. 
  2. 360-degree camera which when paired with Matterport’s Cortex AI converts 2D images into 3D spaces.
  3. Matterport Pro2 can scan spaces of any size with 134 megapixel resolution and 3D accuracy.

Pros 

  1. It operates well for both indoor and outdoor shoots.
  2. Connecting a 360 camera to the Matter port digital twin is easy. The platform automatically maps 2D images to their 3D versions.

Cons

The cost of the Pro2 and 360 cameras are on the higher end. Real estate and construction builders will benefit the most from buying Matterport.

Pricing

Matterport is free for one user and 2 active spaces.The starter plan costs $9.99/month is best suited for 2 users and 3+ more active spaces.The Pro and Business plans both cost $69/month with 25 active spaces

3.6 3D Vista

3D Vista

About

3D Vista offers unlimited virtual tours. It was founded in 1999 by photography enthusiasts who love panoramic shots.

Highlights

  1. 3D Vista offers hosting services, live guided tours and can be downloaded through mobile apps. 
  2. Designed for multiple uses including live tours with video calls.
  3. Several icon, animation and customization options depending on the type of tour. 

Pros 

  1. The transitions are smooth and make the video more engaging and interactive.
  2. Live tours with video calling options.
  3. You can add images and sound as the scene changes. 

Cons:

Most users might find it expensive and too advanced to master. 

Pricing

The virtual tours pro costs $562

4. FAQS

Faqs

4.1 Which is the best virtual tour software 2021?

Klapty takes the prize home for the best virtual software for 2021. The customizable options for themes, scenes and animations make video editing a joy for both professionals and newbies.

4.2 Which virtual tour software should you use?

The virtual tour software you use depends on the industry and purpose behind the virtual tour. Matterport works great for real estate and housing, while Kuula offers secure tours with its password enablement for video and image tours.