This week there was a major announcement in the world of virtual tours. Google has chosen to collaborate with Matterport to allow users to continue their street-view experience into a building.
This is a very significant step. Up until now Google has allowed Trusted Photographers to add virtual tours to a Google Business Listing. This would be a regular 2D virtual tour where the user teleports from 360 bubble to 360 bubble.
The problem with this is the user experiences on a regular virtual tour is not nearly as smooth as Street-view.
In addition to this the Trusted Photographer back-end platform to add the tour to connect it to Street-view is cumbersome and very time consuming.
Enter Matterport. Just like Google Street-view Matterport offers a walk-through experience which is smooth and very realistic - both claim their experience to be 2.5D. Therefore by partnering with Matterport users will have the exact same experience inside a building as they did outside with Street-view. And, in addition to this the process is much faster and simpler - a simple one click on the Matterport website and the virtual tour is connected to Street-view
I welcome this as a major step in the right direction giving users a realistic walk-through experience of wherever they want to explore. Imagine planning a trip to Rome and using Street-view to walk down the road to the Sistine Chapel and then carry on straight inside St Peter's Cathedral without any change in experience.
The world is about to get more virtual and way more exciting